Jesus is referred to as a “cornerstone” and in Isaiah we get the idea of a “precious” cornerstone. Isaiah 28:16 says, “…thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: Whoever believes will not be in haste.” There are three titles for Jesus in this passage with a conclusion. Jesus is a tested stone, a precious cornerstone and a sure foundation. Conclusion, who rests the hope on him will not be “let down.” First, Jesus is a “tested stone.” Being “tested” means to have proven true! We often sing in our churches “On Christ the Solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.” That it’s “tested” means it has proven itself over the long haul. James Boice asks a compelling question of us, “So why don’t we stand on this foundation and build on it? If you wanted to build a house and had a choice between a solid rock and sand for your foundation, wouldn’t you choose the solid rock? If you were investing for your retirement years and had a choice between a proven blue-chip firm and a fly-by-night, over-the-counter adventure, wouldn’t you choose the blue-chip firm? Why, then, should you do differently with your life, which is of far greater value than a house or a bank account? Why should you not build on a foundation that will stand firm when the tempests of life come.1

Jesus is a “precious cornerstone and a sure foundation.” Jesus indeed the “rock of ages.” Stones are sometimes called “precious.” It refers to their desirable nature and worthy. The primary thing that’s “precious” to you and I as believers in Jesus is his blood. 1 Peter 1:19 explains that it wasn’t precious metal or precious gems that redeemed our souls from hell, it was “…with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” When something “appreciates” in value it’s not so much that it was made that much better as the fact that it was viewed differently. I think that’s the way with the “precious” blood of Jesus. MacArthur tells this story: “One of the curators of the museum, a man with great appreciation for art, overheard two men discussing a masterpiece. One man said to the other, ‘I don’t think much of that painting.’ The curator, feeling obliged to reply to the man’s statement, said to him, ‘Dear sir, if I may interrupt, that painting is not on trial; you are. The quality of that painting has already been established. Your disapproval simply demonstrates the frailty of your measuring capability.’ Similarly, Jesus is not on trial before men; men are on trial before Him.”2

When Jesus calls people to himself he says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all of you who weary and heavy laden. I will give you rest.” The invitation is certainly as valid today as it was when Jesus spoke it 2000 years ago. But the certainty of Jesus statement rest solidly on the Old Testament prophecy that Jesus was fulfilling when he issued that call. In just a few verses before the one quoted above, Isaiah 28:12 says, “…to whom he has said, ‘This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose’” That verse then concludes with “yet they would not hear.” When Isaiah said this he was addressing a nation that was searching here and there for alliances with foreign powers to protect them from the Assyrians. Wiersbe says it well, “If they had faith in Jehovah, they would not be rushing here and there, trying to forge alliances, a practice that only leads to shame and failure (Rom. 10:11). A solid rock is better protection than a flimsy covering of lies!3

1 James Montgomery Boice, Psalms 107–150: An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), 1016.

2 John F. MacArthur Jr., Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), 198.

3 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Comforted, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 73–74.