The Stones Cry Out

Where do you do your best thinking? I have a house FULL of kids of all ages. Between the conversations and the activities, it is rarely quiet. In fact, if I have the opportunity to sit still and be quiet, I tend to fall asleep. It’s when I am busy by myself that I think and ponder. When I was young, I thought that if I was a “good Christian” that I had to spend a lot of time reading my Bible, praying, and “doing.” If I missed a day, I was afraid that God was disappointed in me. But guess what? That was not true. I should be reading God’s word, but God wants my heart. He doesn’t want me to read and pray out of obligation rooted in fear, but a desire to know and understand His word because I want to know Him more. He is always with me, so prayer isn’t always sitting down quietly with a list of people and concerns. I do that, but most of the time, prayer is simply an ongoing conversation with God. I believe that is part of Paul’s direction to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Paul also tells us that God’s children have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). This is not just reading what the Bible says God cares about and having the wisdom to apply it, but it is being guided by His thoughts and purpose. How are we guided by God’s thoughts? 1 Corinthians 2:10 says that the Holy Spirit who we have been given searches all things, even the deep things of God. That means that Holy Spirit knows our thoughts, He knows God’s thoughts, and He shares them with us!

Sometimes, we read God’s word, and other times we meditate on it. We contemplate it and puzzle over it, and God shows us new things. This weekend we are hosting a mens’ retreat at LifeChange Camp, and today I was kitchen help. I was up at 5:15 to shower, and in the quiet, “busy” time, God was answering my request that He give me strategy for a project I am working on. As I was working in the camp kitchen by myself, putting together pans of strawberries and raspberries with a gluten free crisp topping, God was blowing my mind with random things that I had never thought about before. The timing is perfect, because it relates to what we call Palm Sunday, and that just happens to be tomorrow. There are 3 passages involved in this “connection.”

Do you remember when Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on a colt, and his disciples threw their cloaks on the ground for him to pass over? Then:

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

(Luke 19:28-40)

Remember: “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

And then:

 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.  The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.  They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

verses 41-44

Remember, “They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

And then:

When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling.  “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’


The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

verses 45-56 & John 2:18-2

I hope you are still hanging in there with me. All of these things took place in succession. Jesus often talked in metaphors. When he told them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days,” they thought he was talking about the physical building where they brought their sacrifices and worshiped God, but what he really meant was that when they crucified him he would rise again on the third day. He had the authority to overturn the tables of the money changers because he was God and the temple was his house; but, the true and lasting temple is his body.

In the past, when I have read that Jesus said if these disciples were to be silent, the stones would cry out, I have always pictured rocks in the terrain, but this morning I began to think about Jesus’s metaphors and the timing of this statement. Peter wrote,

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:4-5

The word “stone” that is used in these passages is the same~ “lithos”

  1. a stone
    1. of small stones
    2. of building stones
    3. metaph. of Christ

Perhaps Jesus was talking about the very rocks that they walked upon, or perhaps they referred to the stones of the temple where they worshiped, but I love the picture that God painted for me about this ~ that when Jesus was on trial, his disciples were silent. They were all blinded to the fact that it was Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection that would bring them peace. Because of that, he was crucified. When Jesus committed his spirit to his Father, the church was immediately born, as we witness by Christ telling the believing thief who trusted in Him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” It is we, the Believers, who are the living stones who are the temple of God, over whom Jesus Christ is the Head. It is we who cry out,

 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

They can try to silence us, but they cannot, because we have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the glorious kingdom of the Son. (Colossians 1:13)

And what of those who did not recognize the time of God’s coming to them? Jesus warned the Pharisees that their enemies would build an embankment against them and destroy them, and in 70 AD (within one generation), Rome did just that. Those who did not recognize Jesus as the Christ were destroyed, but those who recognized the Christ ~the Christians~ were not in the city when destruction came to Jerusalem because they recognized the signs that Jesus had warned his disciples about.

When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled… There will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled

(Luke 21:20-24)

Have you recognized your day of visitation? It is today. Come be a living stone with me.

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 1:1-6

Image by krystianwin and Daniel Tsai from Pixabay

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