As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 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 2:4-5)
Look at what is said of Jesus in this passage:
-As you come to him
We can actually approach Jesus. We, depraved and unclean sinners, can approach Jesus for personal fellowship, communion, love, unity, help, and joy.
-a living stone
Jesus is alive. He is the cornerstone and foundation of the spiritual house of his people, the Church. Jesus is alive! This cornerstone will never crumble.
-rejected by men
As in the time of his life on Earth, he is still rejected by men. Mankind inherently wants nothing to do with Jesus. His words and very being make sinners bristle with hate. We don't come to him for love, forgiveness, and acceptance naturally.
-in the sight of God chosen and precious
Though rejected by men, Jesus is perfectly loved by God his Father. Jesus alone is the chosen vessel of God sent to save his people. Jesus is infinitely precious. God recognizes this and loves him accordingly. We constantly fail to grasp the preciousness of Jesus and love him with the vigor that he is worthy of. The commandment to "love God" makes the most sense viewed in light of the preciousness of Jesus, who is God.
-you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house
When we come to Jesus simply to be with him, hear from him, and receive his help, we are built up. We are spiritually fortified, made into strong people with vibrant spirits. We are built together in community. God is a master builder who brings the living stones of men and women into a community, into a corporate structure that has a purpose. This building of people is greater than the individual parts. A single stone can fulfill no real purpose, but when myriads of stones are built together, they form a structure that can be used by God.
-to be a holy priesthood
Jesus is building up a plethora of priests - those who serve God and point others to God. This new breed of servants are made holy by God himself. As the high priest could only enter into the inner room of the tabernacle/temple once a year after completing all the appointed sacrifices, now the new priests of God can enter into the holy place of God's presence at any time because the greater and final Lamb has been sacrificed once for all, opening access to the dwelling place of God for the new priests. Every Christian is made a priest by Jesus, who grants full and unhindered access to God through the sacrifice of his life. The Christian needs no man to stand between him and God to mediate for he himself has been made a priest.
-to offer spiritual sacrifices
God grants us the privilege and service of offering spiritual sacrifices to himself. What are these spiritual things but our very lives and bodies (Rom. 12:1-2)? To offer our very being to God is a great privilege indeed, akin to the honor a lowly servant may experience in his service to the king, or like the affection between a willing and loving bondservant and his master (Deut. 15:16-17).
-acceptable to God through Jesus Christ
The only sacrifice of our life that is acceptable to God is the one that is made holy through Jesus Christ. We are the blemished and defect-ridden sheep of the flock but Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God. Even though our sacrifices to God are impure of themselves, they are made holy by the pure sacrifice of Jesus.
I'm thrilled with Jesus and all he does for us. Aren't you too?