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 slainSo I’ll cherish the old rugged cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down
And I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it some day for a crownGeorge Bennard (1873–1958).
Good Friday is a special day on the Christian calendar. It’s the day we remember Jesus dying on a rugged cross, not because He had done anything wrong. Far from it. He was without sin.
He took on such awful suffering to take our sins upon His shoulders. He sacrificed His life so we could be forgiven our sins. So we could have the hope of eternal life.
As a young girl, I attended Good Friday services with my parents. My Dad was the church organist and I can’t remember a Good Friday without singing “The Old Rugged Cross”.
I would sing with great gusto. This hymn heralded Easter had arrived. It seemed important, special. With my childlike faith I understood Jesus had died for me and I was grateful.
My Suffering Is Not In Vain
As I was getting ready for bed last night, I found myself singing this beautiful hymn. I began singing with gusto, just as I did as a little girl. My faith is deeper now, my life experiences are testimony my faith is not in vain.
My strong voice wavered on two lines as I sang;
“The emblem of suffering and shame”
“And I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it some day for a crown”
Tears streamed down my face as I thought about Christ’s sufferings. Tears continued as I thought of my own physical suffering. The words of this hymn resonated like never before.
God has never promised us an easy life but He has promised eternal life, hope and a future beyond the grave. A place to call home where there will be no more suffering and pain.
We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame,
Romans 5 v 3-5
I love this bible verse. “Hope does not put us to shame”.
How beautiful! My hope, my faith will not put me to shame. It is based on truth. It is tangible in so many ways.
I can cling to the old rugged cross and I will exchange it some day for a crown.
This is my hope. This is my future.
This is indeed a very Good Friday.
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