Peter pulls together three Scripture passages about Jesus Christ as the Living Stone, who either is the foundation of honor and fellowship or the source of tripping and resentment.
For it stands in Scripture (from Isaiah 28:16): “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, (from Psalm 118:22) “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”
and (from Isaiah 8:14) “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” (1 Peter 2:6–8 ESV)
Believers are being built up as a spiritual house on the Cornerstone (1 Peter 2:5), but unbelievers “stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do” (1 Peter 2:8). “Destined” is assigned, “appointed” (KJV); they are “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” (Romans 9:22). Many of these were the religious, those in Israel who did not pursue righteousness by faith (so Isaiah 8:14 and the “stone of stumbling” is also quoted in Romans 9:33).
All of us who believe have been destined for identity as God’s people. All of us who rest in and on Christ have received mercy. We are “His own possession, that [we] may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Christ is our Cornerstone. Take Him away and we fall apart. Built on Him we will never be put to shame. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes, so let us rejoice and be glad in Him (Psalm 118:23-24).