Jesus and the Old Rugged Cross:
“This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – and I was the worst of them all.” (1 Timothy 1:15).
THE OLD RUGGED CROSS
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.
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.
Oh, 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, stain’d with blood so divine, A wondrous beauty I see,
For the dear Lamb of God, left his Glory above, 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.
Some people wonder why I talk about Jesus so much. He is so precious to me. One of my favourite old hymns is the Old Rugged Cross. I love that old Cross, but more than the Cross, I love the One who died on that Cross for my sins. Why? Because on August 14th, 1989, when my friend Jerrold told me about Jesus, I knew that I needed a Saviour. I had broken God’s commandments. I knew I was a sinner. Ask my mom. Ask my sisters. They’ll tell you. I knew that there was no goodness in me, and that I deserved to be punished for my sins. But because of the death Jesus died on the Cross, I am not afraid. Jesus died IN MY PLACE. Because of Jesus, I once was lost, but now I’ve been found. I once was on the road to hell, but now I’m on the road to Heaven, and I’m happy about it.
My words are so inadequate to describe the awesome price that Jesus paid for you, but as you read through our text today, I pray that the Holy Spirit will draw you to Jesus. Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” (John 12:32).
“And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means Skull Hill). They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it. Then they nailed him to the cross. They gambled for his clothes, throwing dice to decide who would get them. It was nine o’clock in the morning when the crucifixion took place. A signboard was fastened to the cross above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “The King of the Jews.” Two criminals were crucified with him, their crosses on either side of his. And the people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha. Look at you now.” they yelled at him. “You can destroy theTempleand rebuild it in three days, can you? Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross.” The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself. Let this Messiah, this king ofIsrael, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him.” Even the two criminals who were being crucified with Jesus ridiculed him.” (Mark 15:22-32).
The Bible says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). I thank God that Jesus died for me, and my prayer today is that you would know how much God loves YOU. “And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19). Tomorrow, we will take the time to meditate on each of the seven words that Jesus spoke while He was hanging on the Cross, paying the price for the sins of the world. May the Lord richly bless you today.
Pastor Chris Jordan