Rejection is painful. I know all about rejection. My ex-fiancé rejected me when she cheated on me while I was at basic training, women constantly reject me when I ask them out on dates, and people I think to be my friends reject me when they speak lies about me behind my back. Even my own sister has rejected me because of my pastoral calling and her strong opposition to Christianity. I am all too familiar with rejection. Some of you might be familiar with the pain it brings as well. Rejection is an every day part of life—rejection from people, jobs, whatever.
No one understands rejection more than Jesus Christ. This past Sunday we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. Yet before this, He faced insurmountable rejection. Isaiah prophesied, “He was despised and rejected by men” (53:3). The rejection we face is nothing compared to the rejection Jesus faced, suffering for our sins and dying for them. Even Peter rejected Jesus three times! Not to mention the terrible hours when He was forsaken by God, His own Father. He was forsaken by God so we don’t have to be, and He descended into Hell and experienced separation from His Father so we don’t have to. Although Jesus was King of the Jews, the religious leaders rejected Him. In spite of this, He is the cornerstone of our faith. Jesus is a “living stone rejected by men, but in the sight of God chosen and precious” (1 Peter 2:4). Therefore, through Christ, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).
As a nation of priests, we offer spiritual sacrifices of prayer. praise, and thanksgiving to God. Also, as a nation of priests, we offer spiritual sacrifices of prayer to God on behalf of others. God accepts these sacrifices we make because of the greatest sacrifice, Jesus Christ. Therefore, as God’s chosen royal priesthood, we “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). God has brought us out of darkness and into the light of Christ and calls us to proclaim the Word of Christ and the Good News set in Him. This Good News is that because of Christ, we are not rejected. Jesus will stand before our God on the Last Day as our Mediator, confessing us before Him of our justification in His blood; and God will not reject us for the sake for Christ, for He was rejected for us.