The Old Rugged Cross #3

Sunday, April 10, 2016

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19 KJV).

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

“In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see;
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.”

“For he [God the Father] hath made him [His Son, Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (verse 21). The wood of Calvary’s cross was ordinary wood, but it was stained with extraordinary blood. It was the innocent blood” (Matthew 27:4 KJV). Peter wrote, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just [righteous] for the unjust [unrighteous], that he might bring us to God…” (1 Peter 3:18). “…[T]he Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood (Acts 20:28 KJV). Modern versions omit the correlation here, but our King James Bible says God’s own blood was shed at Calvary!

How could God have blood? Why, God became a Man, and as a Man, He had blood (Hebrews 2:8-18). Because it was God’s blood, it was sinless, divine, able to cover the sins. Had it been regular human blood, it would have been linked to Adam. Jesus was much more than a “good man;” He was the visible manifestation of the invisible God (Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3). Had He been anything less than fully God and fully man, He could not mediate between both parties!

Many people in history have died for their religion. But, Jesus Christ did not die as a “martyr.” He gave up His life, to “pardon and sanctify” those who would accept His payment for their sins. That blood was shed to impart spiritual life to those who would believe in it. It was shed to set apart a group of people whom Father God would use through the ages of eternity future to glorify His Son, the Person who died on the “old rugged cross.” 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What swallowed Jonah—a fish or a whale?