There are several classic hymns that depict Christ as the Rock. For example, Rock of Ages, The Solid Rock, and He is the Cornerstone, come to mind.
One of the earliest Biblical references to the Rock is found in Exodus.
“Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness…but there was no water for the people to drink…and the people complained against Moses, and said, ‘Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us…with thirst?’ And the LORD said to Moses… ‘Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.’” Exodus 17:1-6
This scripture passage came alive with the words of Jesus in the New Testament gospel of John.
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive…” John 7:37-39
Other Old Testament references to the Rock include:
“Now these are the last words of David… ‘The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.’ The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God…’” II Samuel 23:1-3
“Oh come; let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1
“Therefore thus says the LORD GOD: ‘Behold I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation…” Isaiah 28:16
The Bible reveals that the Jews rejected the Rock, i.e. their Messiah, Christ. Subsequently the rejected Rock was offered to the gentiles.
“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” Psalm 118:22
Stephen in the book of Acts explained the rejected Rock to the Jews.
“…let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead…This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.” Acts 4:10-12
Jesus confirmed that the ‘church’ would be built upon Him as the Rock foundation.
“…and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25
The Apostle Paul reiterated the words of Jesus.
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone…” Ephesians 2:19-21
Then the Apostle Peter summarized the issue succinctly as he quoted from the Old Testament book of Isaiah.
“Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame. Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, the Stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone, and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” I Peter 2:1-9
Jesus addressed the Jewish religious leaders more abruptly and warned them that the rejected Rock would be to them the ‘falling Rock.’
“Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone…Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.’” Matthew 21:42-45
Should anyone other than the self-righteous take heed? The prophet Daniel provided the answer as he interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about the gentile world system in the latter days.
“You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:32-34
How sure was Daniel about the dream and its interpretation?
“The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.” Daniel 2:45
Now as travelers pass through the mountains and observe roadside signs alerting them to ‘Watch for Falling Rock’ it will have a twofold meaning.