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.
Oh, the 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,
Stained with blood so divine,
Such a wonderful beauty I see;
For ’twas on that old cross
Jesus suffered and died
To pardon and sanctify me.
To the old rugged cross
I will ever be true;
It’s shame and reproach gladly bear.
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.
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.
George Bennard, 1913
Read Deuteronomy 21:22-23
(In our time and place, it is difficult for us to grasp how ingrained it was into the Jewish mindset that being hanged on a tree was an inescapable curse. It was not discussed, not even mentioned in polite company. Yet, we celebrate it. We celebrate it because the curse that should have, by all rights, fallen upon us, instead fell on Jesus Christ. He bore the curse that passed on to me because of Adam’s sin, and He bore the curse that I deserved because of my presumptuous sins. It was on that old cross Jesus suffered and died to pardon and sanctify me.)