The Old Rugged Cross

“So l’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 someday for a crown” (Bennard).

“The emblem of suffering and shame… ” At the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, the cross was a shameful symbol. I tried to think of a present day equivalent, but there simply isn’t one. I once read a book where the author joked about Christians wearing crosses. He said that they might as well have a modern-day electric chair hanging around their necks. The thought sounds a little irreverent to me, but he kind of had a point.

‘‘I will cherish the old rugged cross… ” Why do we cherish an emblem of suffering and shame? What is it about the cross that draws us to it? How can something so notoriously ugly, be so beautiful?
While I write this, I am thinking about all the suffering and shame that I once carried. I could tell you some stories  I’m sure you could tell me some, too. Today when I think of the cross, I see Jesus. I see Him taking my suffering and shame and making them His own. I see Him declaring hope and healing over my failures and misery. Through a shameful cross, His blood has bought me a new life.
Why do we cling to and cherish this old, rugged cross? Because our Savior’s blood covered it, along with our sins. It has become an emblem not of shame, but of forgiveness and victory. I encourage you to spend some time recognizing the beauty of the cross, for it is the chosen instrument that God used to rescue us.

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