The Old Rugged Cross #2

Saturday, April 9, 2016

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV).

The second verse of George Bennard’s classic 1913 hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross,” highlights today’s Scripture.

“Oh, that 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.”

Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary means nothing to most. The religious crowd believes they can “be nice” and “do good” and score points to “make God happy with them” as much as He was happy with Christ on Calvary. Salvation by grace through faith without works, us relying on Someone else to get us to Heaven, Someone who lived 2,000 years ago, and us not making an effort to “do right,” my, they think it absurdity to the extreme. (If they think their “good deeds” will make up for all their sins, that is absurdity to the extreme!)

Intellectuals—willfully ignorant, of course—may (notice I said “may!”) acknowledge the historicity of Jesus but most would never dare discuss the merits of Calvary. It would make them appear “bigoted” and “intolerant” of the world’s religions that place no emphasis (or outright deny) Calvary’s efficaciousness. Rather than becoming the laughingstock of “scholarship,” they ask, “How can a dead Jew help me?” Indeed, we agree that a “dead Jew” can help no one. But, our “dead Jew” did not remain dead!

The message of Christ’s finished crosswork on Calvary, the hell-bound lost world considers it “foolishness” (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14). But, the flipside, we who are saved, we recognize that Gospel of the Grace of God is “the power of God.” The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the price of redemption, our rescuing from sin and Satan. Jesus Christ left the glories of Heaven, His worship and praise in Heaven, to come to this wretched world of worthless sinners, to be mistreated by them, mocked by them, and finally, murdered by them. Christ left Heaven, came to Earth, that we may one day leave Earth, and go to Heaven. Yes, Calvary “has a wondrous attraction for me!” 🙂