The Significance of the Old Rugged Cross
I woke up singing “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 someday for a crown.”
Today is the exaltation of the Holy Cross and I see the cross as something significant and powerful in every Christian’s life. The cross is a representation of God’s love for us. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. That who so ever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The cross is a representation of the challenges of everyday life but the victory we are guaranteed in knowing that Jesus has overcome the world.
Here are my thoughts on what the cross represents to me.
The Cross Represents God’s Love for Us through Christ’s Suffering
John 15:18: “If the people of this world hate you, just remember that they hated me first. If you belonged to the world, its people would love you. But you don’t belong to the world. I have chosen you to leave the world behind, and that is why its people hate you.”
Jesus was mocked and hated on his last days. As we read in the Book of John, when he was in Jerusalem for the Temple Festival, the people picked up stones to kill him. “You are just a man, and here you are claiming to be God.”
The people of his time rejected him because he affirmed to be the son of God.
In Christ’s suffering, we know that we will go through our own suffering in life. Jesus said that people would hate us the same way he was hated.
We have to know that a difficult life is part of taking up our cross. We take up the cross and know that we will be hated as Christ but rest assured that his spirit will be with us in the process.
In taking up your cross, know that the hate and suffering you face is because you do not belong to this world. You belong to God. You belong to Christ and as Christ’s followers, we are to take after him. We are to take the message of Christ to the world.
The Cross Represents Victory, For Our Sorrow will Turn to Joy
John 16: 22: “You are now very sad but later I will see you and you will be so happy that no one will be able to change the way you feel. When that time comes, you won’t have to ask me about anything. I tell you for certain that the Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. You have not asked for anything in this way before, but now you must ask in my name. Then it will be given to you so that you will be completely happy.”
Christ knew that death was coming for him and he encouraged his disciples. He told them that they might be sad now but it won’t last for long.
Jesus also goes on to say that “while you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.” John 16: 32–33.
The cross represents victory because we know that Christ was raised up from the dead. We know that Christ was taken up to heaven. We know that Christ overcame the world and is seated in heavenly places with his Father.
Though we go through pain in the world, we are still guaranteed victory because Christ has gone through the worst and still came out better off.
We have to know that as Christians, God tells us that he will provide for us. Even if we are going through a drought, there will be a bountiful harvest afterwards.
Continue to speak to God. Continue to pray and call Jesus by his name. We do this because Christ promises us that whatever we ask of him by his name, he will provide.
The Cross Represents Unity in Faith and the Gospel
John 17: 18–20: “I am sending them to this world, just as you sent me. I have given myself completely for their sake, so that they may belong completely to the truth. I am not praying just for these followers. I am also praying for everyone else who will have faith because of what my followers will say about me. I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. I also want them to be one of us. Then the people of this world will believe that you sent me.”
Christ prayed for his followers. He prayed for the followers that would come after his first disciples. He prayed for us Christians.
His prayer is that Christians would be one with each other. That we will have unity and peace. In the Book of John, Chapter 17, verse 26, we also go on to read that “the love that you have for me will become part of them, and I will be one with them.”
His prayer is that God’s love would remain part of us. As Christ prays that God’s love is part of us, we also must give that love to others.
We also must imbibe that Christ-like quality of being one with our fellow brothers and sisters. We must have love in spite of the wickedness and evil of this world because God resides in Love.
Final Thoughts/ My Prayer for Today
We thank God that he brought his son to save us from our sins. We thank God for Christ and we are grateful for his sacrifices. We are grateful because we know that his suffering on the cross was not in vain but so that we may have eternal life through him.
God we pray that the followers of Christ in the world today will continue to imbibe Christ-like qualities. We pray that your Holy Spirit will rest in us. We pray that you will strengthen us when we are weak.
We pray that you will provide for us when there is a lack. Lord Jesus, we call on you today to fill us with your Love. The great love that you have for this world would dwell in us and we your disciples would spread the good news.
Lord we pray that the gospel of Christ will reach those who are yet to know you. Lord Jesus, we pray that we may minister to the poor, the sick, the afflicted, the rejected and the abused. That because of us, they will give glory to you.
Lord Jesus, we call on you today that the light of Christ in us will never die. This light will reign on earth in each of us until our heavenly father calls us back to be with him. AMEN.