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The Old Rugged Cross

Image by Gerd Altmann, Pixabay

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.

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 the 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.

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.

When I look at an empty cross or a crucifix, it reminds me of Jesus who came to show us a better way to live our lives. The crucifix tells me of Jesus suffering and death for our salvation. The empty cross tells me that he rose from the dead. But the facts do not end there. Jesus asks you and me to fill His role in this life.

Many people turn away from the cross and strive for financial success for themselves and for their children whom they seek to enroll in top competitive private schools and universities. Winning becomes more important than truth, love, compassion, service, and the significance and call of the old rugged cross.

We live in a storm-tossed world. There exists a constant struggle between good and evil. Many people seek a safe harbor in their possessions that fail to fill that ache within their hearts that asks, “Is that all there is?” They forget that they ultimately have to abandon everything to reach the opposite shore.

Jesus asks us to walk with Him. He will cleanse and renew us. If only we will believe in Him and follow Him, He will walk with us and lead us through this life to the safe harbor of life everlasting with Him.

Think about it:

  • Have we created a culture where values and character count for nothing? What makes you think so?
  • What do you think of a crucifix where Jesus is left hanging from it?
  • What do you think of an empty cross? Does it call you?
  • Do you believe Jesus asks us to walk with Him and to pick up our cross and carry on His work during our stay on earth? What makes you think so?
  • If you had to choose one of the three crosses in the above image, which one would you choose and why?