The Old Rugged Cross

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24 

If you grew up in church, you probably remember singing songs like “The Old Rugged Cross.” It’s an old song, but it’s a good one. The song goes, “On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame.” I would venture to say that most of us probably grew up singing that song, and we grew up believing it. 

For many of us, that has been the picture of the cross in our minds forever. And no disrespect to the guy who wrote the hymn, but when you look at it, his words really do not paint an accurate picture of the scene of Golgotha on that day. Now, it is not his fault. He wasn’t there 2,000 years ago when Jesus was crucified. 

The Bible describes this place called Golgotha not on a hill far away but rather on the street level in a prominent place. It was a place where people could pass by, where they could yell abusive words, and where they could see the agony and anguish on the faces of those who had opposed Roman authorities. 

Listen, Golgotha was a place with a purpose. There was a purpose for this place, and that purpose is really seen in three different areas. It was a place for public execution, excruciating pain, and humiliation. We will go into further detail on each of these in the coming days, but the point is to give you a better picture of what Jesus actually went through when He was crucified.  

Jesus did things and experienced things that none of us would want to experience. But even though we do not want to experience it, we should not gloss over it, breeze by it, or forget about it. What Jesus endured on that cross was the toughest, most painful, agonizing, humiliating thing anyone could ever go through. And He didn’t even deserve it. 

Jesus died an excruciating death. So I’d encourage you to be diligent in praising Him and thanking Him for what He went through so that you can have a personal relationship with Him!  

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bible verse

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

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