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).
Our world is standing on a precipse.
A precipice is a very steep rock face or cliff, especially a tall one.
Coronavirus is presenting a global challenge the 21st century has never had to deal with before.
It feels surreal, a little crazy at times, scary, and even inspiring as we witness human nature at its best, pulling together to get through this pandemic.
In the midst of it all, Easter awaits us. A Christian celebration, full of the hope of new life and a future.
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.
In the midst of this Coronavirus crisis, hope is what we all need.
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 the current suffering of those who have died and are dying from COVID-19.
I cried for those who are mourning the loss of loved ones during this time, no matter the cause, as they are unable to hold funerals to publically and personally grieve as they need to.
I cried for families separated due to isolation restrictions or national and international border closures.
I cried for my own physical suffering and the pain that envelopes me in a progressive, unrelenting fashion, day after day.
As I cried I continued to sing. 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.
It will indeed be a very Good Friday and a very Happy Easter!