My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
In constructing the tabernacle, God instructed Moses to hang a curtain to separate “the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place” (Exodus 26:33 NIV). What this veil did was separate us, God’s people, from His presence. But when Jesus died on the cross, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Mark 15:38 ESV), meaning now “we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19 NIV). We no longer need to be separated from His holiness because we are covered by “Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” This is our hope, our joy, our foundation.
Even still, so often we choose to put our trust in other frames, like other belief systems and idols. When we sing this song we lay these idols down and confess that Jesus is the only “name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 ESV). More than any other, we can rest in this truth. We can lean on this truth.
Christ alone; Cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Savior’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all
Verse 22 of Psalm 118 is a prophecy fit right into a worship song: “the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (ESV). In His death and resurrection, Jesus showed Himself to be the prophesied Cornerstone, despised and rejected by men (Matthew 21:42). The apostle Paul applied this truth for us, saying “no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11 ESV). So we sing, “Christ alone; Cornerstone.”
We also sing this song to remember Christ’s power to uphold us. His power to be our cornerstone is made perfect in our weakness, so we trust His power to persevere us through the storms of life, for there will be storms. There will be cancer, unemployment, loss, rebellious children, ungodly parents, miscarriages, tsunamis, depression, terrorism, persecution, and more. Inspired by Jesus’s own words, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV), we sing this chorus to proclaim that in every trial He will overcome. He is Lord of all.
When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
In Isaiah 54:8, God says “I hid my face from you for a moment” (NIV). It’s scary to think that God would hide His face from us, even for a moment. We’d be tempted to doubt, turn away, and worship other gods, but that’s not the end of the verse. He goes on, “but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you.”
The times we feel God is distant are, He says, momentary, but His grace is everlasting as a rock, unchanging even in the strongest of winds. Even when darkness seems to hide His face, our God is present. He promises to never leave us or forsake us and His promises are “an anchor of the soul … which enters within the veil” (Hebrews 6:19 NASB).
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven … with the sound of the trumpet of God” (ESV). Looking forward to that day, this song reminds us to pray that we will be “found in Him, not having a righteousness of [our] own … but that which comes through faith in Christ” (Philippians 3:9 ESV). It reminds us to pray that we will be “clothed … with the garments of salvation” and “covered … with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10 ESV).
Moreover, it reminds us that because of Christ’s work on the cross, we will stand “holy and blameless and above reproach before Him” (Colossians 1:22 ESV) and we who believe in the precious cornerstone “will not be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6 ESV).
This is reason to sing!
View all the resources for the song “Cornerstone” including free chord charts, and instrumental teaching videos by clicking here.