In Genesis 49 Jacob, under divine inspiration, pronounces numerous blessings upon his twelve sons, and in verse 24 we read this about Joseph, who typifies the Lord Jesus Christ: “But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)” The shepherd, the stone of Israel is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Isaiah 28:16 we discover another reference to the stone of Israel: “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” This verse is also quoted in Romans 9:31-32, but let’s start with Romans 9:30 and go down to verse 33 to get the context. Here God reveals more information about His salvation program for us to absorb, “What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel [referring to the nation], which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
First Peter 2:7-8 sums up what the real problem is, “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed”
By quoting Psalm 118:22-23, Matthew 21:42-45 discloses how God’s salvation program was to shift from the Jewish synagogues to the New Testament congregations after Christ hung on the cross: “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.”