To answer your good question, let’s consider the circumstances of the Lord’s words in Matthew 21:44. The Lord Jesus was speaking to the chief priest and Pharisees and had just told them a parable dealing with a man that planted a vineyard, then left it in the hands of some farmers when he left the country. In due time, the owner sent his servants to the farmers to reap the fruit. The farmers beat some of the servants, killed some and stoned some. The owner sent more servants to reap the fruit and the farmers did the same thing to them. We then read in Matthew 21:37-41, “But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.”

Of course, in this parable, the Lord was speaking of the Old Testament prophets and how they were treated and of Himself as the Son of God and the rejection he received at the hands of the Jewish nation. When the chief priests and Pharisees acknowledge that the proper punishment was for the farmers to be utterly destroyed, they were unwittingly admitting that they deserved judgment for their rejection of the Son of God.

Now let’s read Matthew 21:42-43, “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.” The Lord quoted Psalm 118:22-23 to these men, presenting Himself as this stone that the Jewish leaders had rejected. The Apostle Peter would repeat this truth later as he spoke to the Sanhedrin in Acts 4:11, “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.” Because of their rejection of the Lord Jesus, the kingdom was taken from them and given to the Gentiles.

Let’s read the words of the Lord in Matthew 21:44, “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. Notice how this stone, which represents the Lord Jesus, is spoken of as being in two different places. First, it is on the ground and some trip over it. Then, it is seen as coming from the sky and crushing some. This represents the two advents of the Lord. When He came in mercy, the Jewish leaders ‘stumbled’ over Him, not receiving Him as the Son of God who came to die for the salvation of sinful men. Next, the Lord will ascend in judgment upon His enemies and completely destroy those who oppose Him

My friend, I trust that you know Christ as your savior. I pray that you have not stumbled over Him, refusing to acknowledge Him as the Son of God. If so, the day will come when the Lord will act in swift and terrible judgment on all those who reject Him. That doesn’t have to happen. Today, if you will bow before the Lord and accept Him as your savior and Lord, you will be saved. Romans 5:8-9 tells us, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (157.2)