Today we will look at the lectionary passages for Easter 4B in a sequence. It's not a chronological sequence, but a theological one.
This Jesus is “the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.” Acts 4:11
Peter and John stand before the Sanhedrin, the very court that wanted to sentence Jesus to death but could not due to Roman law. With boldness that Peter did not have before the day of Pentecost, he preaches straight into the faces of those who hated Jesus and hated him. "IT WAS YOU WHO KILLED HIM." The stone rejected has become the cornerstone. The 'piece of trash' you threw out is now the feast. The man you thought you killed is alive, and nothing you can do can ever change that.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
The cornerstone is the good shepherd. He has laid down his life for the sheep. Sheep need led, and sheep have no natural defense.
"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me." Psalm 23:4
Because he died he walks with his through this Holy Spirit. Peter could stand in boldness because the shepherd had laid down his life and now walked with him through the evil of the hypocritical religious leaders.
"How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?" I John 3:17
All of this leads to one place: How do we live out the resurrection message of Christ? Do we take the chance to stand and preach? Do we help the one in need? Do we offer water to the thirsty, a sandwich to the man on the side of the road? Will we get out of our pews and pray with someone? Will we allow the 'outcast' into our nice clean sanctuaries?