A special weekly series for the Easter Season
Reflections on the hymn The Old Rugged Cross
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. I Corinthians 1:18 NKJV
The cross of Jesus is despised by some. It seems like foolishness to the world. Why would God come to earth for humankind, knowing that they had already rejected Him or would do so in the future? Yet Jesus suffered and died on that cross to pardon and sanctify us. He sets us apart to follow Him, and to someday live in heaven with Him.
It is the message of the cross that led George Bernard to write the words and music to The Old Rugged Cross. He cherished the old rugged cross. (1913. Public domain.)
Verse 1: On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, The emblem of suff’ring and shame; And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best For a world of lost sinners was slain. Verse 2: O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, Has a wonderous attraction for me; For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above To bear it to dark Calvary. Verse 3: In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, A wonderous beauty I see; For ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died To pardon and sanctify me.
Just think, Jesus left heaven for sinners- that’s us! I pray I’ll be faithful to Him, as George Bernard said in verse 4 and the refrain:
Verse 4: To the old rugged cross I will ever be true, Its shame and reproach gladly bear; Then He’ll call me someday to my home faraway, Where His glory forever I’ll share. Refrain: So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it someday for a crown
Our sins were nailed to the cross with Jesus. He removed our sins as far as the east is from the west. I remember when I was on a church youth group trip, we wrote down our sins on pieces of paper and nailed them onto a board. After a time of silent confession, the nails with the attached papers were removed. Nail holes remained. For me personally the holes were a reminder of the consequences to sin, but that Jesus forgave my sins and chooses not to remember my confessed sins any longer. A variation of this is to write down our sins on a piece of paper, confess them, and then to burn the papers. I think I want to do that again. Perhaps you would like to do something similar?
Dear Jesus, Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for removing my sins and not holding me eternally accountable for anything You have already forgiven. May I gladly bear the reproach of others for Your cross, and lay everything at Your feet. Amen.
Watch for the rest of this four-part special Easter series, Jesus: His Cross and His Resurrection.
3/18/21 Part 1- At the Cross 3/25/21 Part 2 - The Old Rugged Cross 4/1/21 Part 3 - Christ Arose 4/8/21 Part 4 - Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Devotionals post every other Thursday (Special series may occur more frequently, such as the Easter series, Jesus: His Cross and His Resurrection.) They are archived under Devotionals.