Wikipedia offers us a concise, practical definition: “The cornerstone (or foundation stone) concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.” It was the stone that held everything together. A cornerstone could tie two walls together by serving as the corner-point of the walls, or it could serve as the capstone, the final stone, that would hold an archway in place.
Eventually, the cornerstone became more of a “declaration stone,” one set in a prominent position on a new building, declaring the date of the construction and, as we have here at Hillcrest, a foundational statement of belief and/or purpose.
In Matthew 21:33-45, Jesus told the parable of “The Wicked Vinedressers” in which the wicked vinedressers ultimately rejected the authority of the owner of the vineyard and killed his son. Of course, Jesus was addressing the religious leaders: He was informing them that God the Father had sent Him, God’s only Son, but they were rejecting Him as the Messiah, their only hope. Because of their rejection, they would have no part in the kingdom of God.
Everyone who encounters Jesus is also faced with making a decision about Him, and all make a decision: some will reject Him—even without saying a word—by simply walking away, while others will accept and believe that Jesus is indeed God’s Son. The truth of the matter is that no one can remain neutral about Jesus Christ. John 3:36 says, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life: and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides in him.”
Today we will see those who made the tragic rejection in Matthew 21:33-46.