Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Easter Hymn Reflections – The Old Rugged Cross

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Week Two – Day 3 – Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Old Rugged Cross – (Don Moen)

The Old Rugged Cross – (Alan Jackson) –

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.


 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 some day for a crown.

 O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.


 In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.


 To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.


Hebrews 12:2 (ESV) – looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Philippians 2:8 (ESV)- And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

James 1:12 (ESV)- 12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Revelation 2:10 (ESV)- 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

O – The cross – despised method of crucifixion by the Romans, and reserved for criminals and the basest of society.  There was shame involved in the cross, being exposed to the world, high above the populace.  This is how Christ was put to death – an innocent man, dying for the sins of the world on a cross.  Jesus, knowing what was ahead, knowing what He was entitled to as the Son of God, put all that aside, and “endured the cross, despising the shame” – and “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  WHY?  To be the sacrificial lamb, to die for our sins, to redeem us – “for a world of lost sinners was slain.”  This is why we should “cherish the old rugged cross.”

This hymn also brings out the fact that we will, someday, appear before our God.  We will receive the “crown of life.” {It is not something complete at the point one becomes a Christian. Rather, it is something the Christian will receive. It is a “crown” stephanos, which is a term used among the leaders of the New Testament church to refer to the Christians’ ultimate goal or reward. } (IVP NT Commentary)  At this point, receiving the crown of life – will we toss our worldly awards and trophies, all that we “worked for” to exchange them for a crown?  Will we gladly exchange that cross for a crown?  Not unless we cling to it – now!  Not until, or unless we make it ours – to “take up our cross daily and follow Him.”

A – In the meantime, I need to live my life under the shadow of that cross. To live a life worthy of the price that Christ paid for me – His own life.  Living in grateful submission to Him is the ONLY way to live now!  It is not in the business of collecting worldly commendations, awards, and “trophies”, but living in full awareness of what lies ahead, and our responsibility and right to share the power of Christ’s cross to those around us.  It is not my agenda, but the pull of Christ’s love that should draw me to share His love with others.

P – Father God, thank You for the cross – the symbol that we as Christians hold dear.  Father, may it be more than a symbol to wear, to display, to be in awe of – but to be a monument of remembrance.  May I remember the sacrifice of Jesus for me.  May I remember His suffering and pain, for me.  Father, give me a tender heart, one that realizes and remembers His anguish.  As I walk through this day, Father, give me opportunities to share and encourage, and to take up my cross to follow You.


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