Rejected ... then Resurrected
The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. —Psalm 118:22–23 (NRSV)
KENNETH L. SAMUEL | There is nothing cute about being rejected.
“We don’t want you.” “We don’t accept what you have to offer.” “You don’t measure up to our standards.” “Who you are is not good enough for us.” Rejection can empty our spirits, deflate our sense of worth.
According to the prophetic interpretations of Isaiah 53, Jesus was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. His rejection was not the transitory rejection of being denied a job opportunity or not selected for a sports team.
The rejection Jesus bore extended from King Herod’s attempt to kill him at birth to those who voted without dissent to have him publicly humiliated and executed at Calvary.His rejection—elaborately and successfully orchestrated—resounded throughout all of Palestine.
But the power of the resurrection is that no rejection we face—no matter how perpetual, no matter how powerful, no matter how imposing, no matter how emptying—no rejection is indicative of our divine destiny. Martin Luther King, Jr., commended the words of James Russell Lowell to us:
Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne—
Yet that scaffold sway the future, and behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow, Keeping watch above his own.
Mahatma Gandhi is credited with saying: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
The power of the resurrection is the power to step outside the prescribed molds of assimilation, to resist the presumed safety of hiding or running, and to be the authentic presence God created us to be. Today we celebrate the power of an affirmation that defies every condemnation of death.
PRAYER Live in me forever, Lord Jesus!About the Writer:
KENNETH L. SAMUEL is Pastor of Victory for the World Church (UCC) in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He is the author of Solomon’s Success: Four Essential Keys to Leadership.

Source: “Running from Empty” | 2023 Lent Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.