So many of the images in the New Testament are drawn from the Old Testament. That is to be expected since the New Testament is simply the final chapter in a redemptive drama that begins in Genesis. Speaking symbolically, Peter describes the NT church as the OT temple, built of “stones” (believers) that, at the same time, carry out priestly duties (2:5) with Christ as the “living Stone” (2:4) who serves as the “cornerstone” (2:6).
The point that Peter is making is that while this Stone is precious to God (2:4) and the believer (2:7), it/he is rejected by men (2:4). God’s evaluation differs diametrically from man’s. What God honors, man destroys. What God graciously provides, man unappreciatively rejects.
What then should be the relationship between this “Stone’s” followers and today’s world? One would expect that, for the most part, the world (mankind organized over against God) would treat the “little stones” (believers) just like they treated the “living (raised from the dead) Stone.” They flogged him, spit on him and nailed him on a cross to die.
“Wow! Nobody treats Christians like that.”
Well, not generally in what you might call the civilized Western world. However, in a magazine like “The Voice of the Martyrs” you can read how even today, in certain areas of the world, Christian believers are sacrificing their lives for their faith. I’ll spare you the gruesome details of a recent account in North Korea.
My point is that following a rejected leader places you in a position to be rejected. The Christian world-view separates the believer in so many ways from a society that lives by another set of rules. Will they ever take you to court for treason? (Your allegiance is to another world you know.) Perhaps? The question has been asked, “If put to trial for your faith, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Worth pondering!