I carry a stone in my pocket to remind me of the Rock I which I stand. Psalms 61 and 62 tells us, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I and He alone is my rock and my salvation.” My first book, Great is God’s Faithfulness starts with these Psalms and on the cover is a photo of a huge rock (Ecola Rock) off the coast of Oregon taken by my cousin. There is a theme of God’s faithfulness in Scripture. Samuel the prophet warrior planted a monument to God’s faithfulness against the Philistines. “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the Lord (certainly) helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12).
In Genesis 28:18-19 Jacob had just had an intimate struggle with God. “Jacob was up first thing in the morning. He took the stone he had used for his pillow and stood it up as a memorial pillar and poured oil over it. He christened the place Bethel (God’s House). The name of the town had been Luz until then.” This verse has particular meaning to me as I was led by God to attend Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. There I met God in many intimate ways through His teaching, worship and relationships. The anointing of oil over the stone speaks of the Holy Spirit bringing special recognition to the stone.
Again Jacob is involved in an illusion to Christ and His resurrection in Genesis 29:1-3. “Jacob set out again on his way to the people of the east. He noticed a well out in an open field with three flocks of sheep bedded down around it. This was the common well from which the flocks were watered. The stone over the mouth of the well was huge. When all the flocks were gathered, the shepherds would roll the stone from the well and water the sheep; then they would return the stone, covering the well.” Can you imagine the flocks of sheep, a metaphor for the people of God, seeking the water of life that poured from the well when this heavy rock that covered the door was rolled away. Was it like the heavy rock that blocked the door to Jesus’ tomb and was rolled away on Easter morning?
In the Bible altars to the Lord are built of stone and the 10-Commandments were made of stone. Priests wore precious memorial stones on their prayer Ephods (breastplates). The shepherd boy David picked up five smooth stones from the river, one of which slay the giant Goliath.
I have already alluded to the stone rolled away from Jesus’ tomb. Paul told us that “Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ (Acts 4:8). All buildings crumble without a cornerstone. All lives do too without Jesus as their cornerstone. In 1 Peter 2:4 the disciple said, “Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life.” We as believers are to live and move as living stones holy and pleasing to God.