Songspiration: The Old Rugged Cross

Since we are in the Lenten season, I wanted to share some songs with you that depict what and why we are celebrating the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. An old favorite is “The Old Rugged Cross.”

What is the definition of the cross? Thesaurus.com states it as follows:

“1. A structure consisting essentially of an upright and a transverse piece, used to execute persons in ancient times;
2. Any object, figure, or mark resembling a cross, as two intersecting lines; and
3. A mark resembling a cross, usually an X, made instead of a signature by a person unable to write.”

Meaning of the Cross

“The cross is a great contradiction:
Death and life,
Hate and love,
Violence and peace,
Accusations and forgiveness,
Brokenness and wholeness,
All is lost…yet everything is gained,
Destruction and restoration,
Defeat and victory,

The Cross is Love.”–Crosswalk.com

Research facts about this hymn:

Written by George Bennard (1873-1958), a Methodist evangelist;
Began writing the hymn in 1912 and finished it in 1913;
Published in 1915;
First recorded by two members of Billy Sunday’s staff–1921;
Song speaks of writer’s Christian experience rather than his adoration of God;
The song has been performed by some of the 20th Century’s most important recording artists, including Andy Griffith, Brad Paisley, Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash and June Carter, George Beverley Shea, Willie Nelson, etc.

Some of the scriptures (NIV version) that mention the cross are as follows:

I Corinthians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…”

Philippians 3:10-11: “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings (on the cross), becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Luke 9:23: “Then He said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'” (This verse is stated in three gospels: Mathew, Mark, and Luke.)

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This is what the cross should mean to each and every one of us.

“On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross…”

But Jesus did not stay on the cross. We will once again be celebrating His resurrection on Easter Sunday. Let us remember the cross but also that He arose so that we would not perish but have eternal life.

Blessings,
Yvonne