The Judgment Stones






With judgment stones in their hands, the Pharisees and scribes, hoping to entrap Jesus with His own words, brought a woman whom they said they caught in the "very act of adultery" to Him demanding judgment by stoning her (John 8:3-5).  As witnesses they would be required to throw the first stones and seemed willing to do so.

The Jews took up judgment stones aimed at Jesus, accusing Him of blasphemy because He told them that He and His Father were one (John 10:30-31).  They refused to hear Him and tried to seize Him to satisfy their idea of judgment.

The Jews stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city thinking he was dead.  This was their way of enforcing judgment for his preaching that the Gentiles were accepted in God's plan of salvation and for their jealousy of Paul's great popularity among the believing Gentiles (Acts 14:19).


This is the same Paul who before his own conversion to Jesus Christ had earlier authorized the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.  They stoned Stephen for his witness of Jesus, the Messiah.  They judged Him worthy of death.  Their consciences pricked by the Holy Spirit at His message pronounced judgment on Him instead of yielding to His message, repenting and accepting Christ (Acts 7:58).

God ordered anyone who gave any of their descendents "to the god Molech to be stoned as a means of judgment (Leviticus 20:2).


When Aaron, the high priest, entered the Most Holy Place, he had precious stones on the shoulders of his Ephod representing the twelve tribes of Israel, thus bearing their names on the Day of Atonement as he made the blood sacrifice to cover their sins and postponing judgment for one more year.

Altars were built from stones; altars where sacrifices were made to satisfy the judgment of God for the sins of the people.  Joshua built an altar after a victory over Ai and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on it.  He wrote a copy of the "Law of Moses" on stones in the presence of all the people.  God had written His laws on stone tablets for Moses to present to the Israelites.  These stones with God's Law written on them were God's instructions for relationship with Him and with each other.  In that sense they were "Judgment Stones" displaying God's laws with dire consequences and required sacrifices to atone for breaking them.

Jesus became the stone of offense, a judgment stone, for us.  We were all guilty and under penalty of the "judgment stones."  Romans 3:23 tells us that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" and verse 19 continues "...that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."  Except for Jesus, we would all stand before God and hear Him say, "Guilty as charged" and be subject to a horrible end which is without an end.

Thank God!  We are no longer under the death penalty and have no fear that stones of judgment can find us under Jesus' blood!

Jesus was entombed in a hewn stone, but that was the turning point for the "stones of judgment."  After His resurrection, the empty stone became a memorial that the last judgment stone had been cast.  The psalmist foresaw that day when he wrote "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone [foundation stone from which all other stones in the building are aligned]" (Psalm 118:22).  Romans 9:33 tells us that God reserves judgment on those who refuse to build on the "Cornerstone" -- "Behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame" (Romans 9:33).  God's judgment stone had been cast at Jesus; the penalty paid; judgment satisfied forever.

The stones of judgment will not find us who accept Jesus as Savior; we are "hid with Christ in God."  We have been declared innocent and not subject to penalty for breaking God's Law.  Stones cast at our sin will just create a cross, an empty cross, on which the sins of the world hung in final judgment before God; and the One who paid the penalty has become the "Chief Cornerstone."  He will give us a white stone "and on that stone a new name written" (Revelation 2:17), a Stone of Victory!

May we always bear in mind that when we are tempted to throw stones at someone's sin, we should stop and think -- To toss a stone of judgment at someone for whom Christ died is to stone Jesus!  To cast a stone of condemnation at another is to direct it toward Him who "became sin for us" and became the propitiation, satisfying the judgment of God for sin for all and for all time.  Would we stone Jesus?

Drop the stones!  Mercy, not stones of judgment, brings repentance.  Remember Jesus said the only one who qualified to cast a stone was the sinless one.  Jesus is the only sinless One, and He has transformed the stones of judgment into precious stones.  "...We are 'lively stones' " (1 Peter 2:5) -- jewels.  For those who fear the Lord...shall be mine...On the day that I make them my jewels."

When you surrender your life to Jesus, you become a Jewel.  Jewels don't throw rocks at Precious Stones.  Let us love one another as Christ has loved us and gave Himself for us.





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@ There's Good News July 2015


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