Isaiah 54:11: O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold I will set your stones in antimony, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires.

When Yahweh rebuilds Jerusalem, He promises to make the city glorious. Her original stones were impressive, but the new Jerusalem will be built with sapphires, rubies, diamonds, and gleaming metals.

Jerusalem becomes a shining city of precious stones only after she has been destroyed and rebuilt. Her stones are smoothed as she goes through the furnace of affliction. This is especially true of Jesus, the cornerstone of the new city. He becomes sardius and jasper through the pressure of death and resurrection.

We are destined to be precious gems adorning the breastplate of our priest and the walls of the bridal city. To shine with glory, we first share in Jesus’ sufferings. We are polished by doing what this meal symbolizes: living Jesus’ death until He comes.

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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