The Old Rugged Cross

Grace Law

READ : John 3:16
John 19:17-25

When Lent comes and we read the story of Christ dying on a cross, I think of the familiar hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross.” This hymn was written in 1873 by Rev. George Bennard, and is a favorite of many.

When I was a child I’d sing this old hymn often to my grandfather. He loved to have me sing this and would quietly listen until I came to the last verse where it reads: “Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away.” Then Grandpa would interrupt me and say, “He’s going to call me home soon, and I’ll join Grandma there.” So it was. Only a short time went by before Grandpa went to join Grandma in their home far away. Jesus says that He is preparing a place for us.

This is what it’s all about! Christ’s suffering was not in vain! It was for us He died! To die on a cross was to die a shameful death. The cross signifies suffering and shame. It was the lowest and most cruel way to die. Can we envision Christ hanging on a cross . . . not for His sins, but for ours?

It is really not the cross to which we would be true, but the person, Jesus Christ, who died on a cross. The symbol of the cross means not only death, but eternal life. That’s why Grandpa could join Grandma. Some day all who trust in Christ will be joined together around His throne.


Lord Jesus, thank You for paying the price for our sins on a hill far away on an old rugged cross. In Jesus’ name. Amen