Traditionally a cornerstone is the first stone laid for a structure, with all other stones laid in reference. It marks the geographical location by orienting a building in a specific direction.
Cornerstones have been around for centuries. In middle east cultures specifically Egyptian and Mesopotamian (present day region of Kuwait, Turkey, Syria and Iraq), their “ground-breaking” ceremony was the “foundational ritual”. This “foundation ritual” was practiced to allow gods to protect the temples, palaces, tombs and forts which they built. Hallowed-out stones or “foundation deposits” were filled with small vessels of symbolic items and depending on the type of building, the items were placed at the corners of the structures or at the points of importance in a building, such as the main entrance. This practice ensured that the remains of the structure’s original element/content were preserved with the building throughout its existence, or until its obliteration.
Spanning through thousands of decades, cornerstones have served a variety of functions. As a means to preserve time, buildings have been marked with numerical symbols to remind people when the building was constructed and the architectural design of the time. Further, cornerstones have become a strong emblem of a new period. Prosperity and opportunity were seen through these cornerstones – showing a sense of accomplishment for what is possible at the time of construction. Today cornerstones have also been turned into reminders of the past, marking present buildings or denoting previously standing buildings.
For use in foundation, a cornerstone should be sufficient in size and strength and of the proper shape and should bear the great weight which would rest upon it. It should be capable of withstanding the elements of weathering. The cornerstone should be able to bear the test of severe pressure.
At this point, allow me to remind you that we have the strongest cornerstone in our own building called life. God chose the foundation stone and laid it Himself. He called it “a sure foundation”. The entire world may lay upon it their burdens and griefs. It can endure them all. Jesus Christ is a “tried stone”. Those who trust in Him, He never disappoints for He has borne every tests and trials.
“By connection with Christ, the living stone, all who build upon this foundation become living stones. Many persons are by their own endeavours hewn, polished, and beautified; but they cannot become “living stones”, because they are not connected with Christ. Without this connection, no man can be saved. Without the life of Christ in us, we cannot withstand the storms of temptation. Our eternal safety depends upon our building upon the sure foundation. Multitudes are today building upon foundations that have not been tested. When the rain falls, and the tempest rages, and the floods come, their house will fall, because it is not founded upon the eternal ROCK, the Chief Cornerstone Christ Jesus.” ~ The Desire of Ages, E.G.W. ~