The Old Rugged Cross

April 2, 2021
“…they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him...”

Luke 23:33

There is no record of exactly how far Jesus Christ carried the Cross.  What we do know is that it was the longest uphill walk carrying the heaviest load no man could every bear on His back.  He did not do it because He had to.  Jesus voluntarily and deliberately did it out of love for us and our Redemption.  The beaten, tortured body of the Lamb of God carried a load that we did not have to carry.  The Lord walked a path of judgement that we would not have to walk.  The greatest man to ever step foot on this Earth carried the most horrifying instrument of torture the world had ever known.

The world saw punishment and a crucifix, but God saw Salvation and an altar.  Jesus Christ, being fully man while never ceasing to be fully God, made an instrument of torture into an emblem of beauty because of what He accomplished for us at the Cross for our Salvation.  It was not the Cross that sanctified Jesus Christ.  It was the Blood of Christ that sanctified the greatest, most important altar that this world had ever known and will ever know.

Upon that hill, far away on that Old Rugged Cross, Jesus Christ, as the Sacrificial Lamb of God, bore my sin, your sin, and the sin of the entire world as His very own.  “He bore the sin of many” and “God reckoned Him to be sin, who knew no sin that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him.”  Jesus was not a mere Representative. He was our Substitute who died in our place.  On the Cross, He became our Substitute as the Judgement of God that should have fallen on us willingly fell completely on Him.

The stripes He endured belonged to us.  It was Jesus that took the lashings and beatings for our healing.  The punishment of God was due to each of us, but He took the penalty for us.  It was Jesus Christ who died for us, for our sake, on our behalf, and in every way took our place so that we may have a place with Him in the Glory of Heaven.  For it was on that Old Rugged, Blood-Stained Cross we received pardon and were sanctified wholly in the eyes of God.  Jesus Christ overcame and accomplished everything for our Salvation and abundance of life at the Cross of Calvary.  It was the greatest act of love and unselfishness no other being in the Heavens above or in the Earth below could ever do for us.

Because Jesus Christ loved us enough to bear the Cross for us, we must cling to the Finished Work of Christ on the Cross.  Our faith must be perpetually anchored in what was accomplished for us at the Cross and cherish it with our entire being.  When the day comes, when we take our final breath, when our heart beats for the final time, we will lay our trophies down and exchange the Cross for a Glorious, Eternal Crown.

To Him be Glory and Dominion forever and ever. Amen!

The Old Rugged Cross

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

So 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 crown

Jared Gibson


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