Look, I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over and a rock to trip over, and the one who believes on him will not be put to shame. (Romans 9:33)
This verse is cross-referenced with many places in Scripture, in both the Old and New Testament. It describes Jesus metaphorically as a Stone — a rejected stone, the cornerstone, a living stone, a precious stone, a stone that makes one trip and fall. In one particular passage we have Jesus describing Himself as a stone and says something very curious.
“And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” -Matthew 21:44 (NASB)
It is hard for many people to accept that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Pantheistic or universalist people will say that Jesus is one way to God, but not the only way. Even religious “Christians” might have their own way of salvation that includes Jesus, along with many good works. Neither of these is the Gospel. Jesus is telling us specifically that He alone is THE way of salvation, and many people both inside and outside the church stumble over this. That’s what it means to stumble or fall on this stone. Yes it can hurt us, it might even break some bones. But if it brings us to our knees and causes us to look up, it is then that God can help us get back on our feet with a renewed and regenerated faith. This Stone that describes Jesus is on the ground (His first Advent), it is the chief cornerstone upon which God builds His church. If we allow it to break us then we will be rebuilt with Christ as our foundation. If we persist in our unbelief and rejection of Him then the Stone will eventually become a falling Rock (at His second coming) and crush all who don’t believe. By then it will be too late. Let us not be found in that second group upon whom the Stone falls! Let us be broken now and fall at the feet of the Savior, the living Stone, the Rock of our salvation!