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.
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.
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.
In that 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.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.
Original Artist: George Bennard
Do the words above mean anything to you? Let me tell you, I cannot sing this song without a well of emotions boiling up inside of me, especially when I sing the Spanish version of it. Now I know it is not all about emotions, but God did create us with an emotional side. And when I think about what Christ did for ME on the cross, I just cannot help but become emotional. I simply cannot read about the crucifixion story in Matthew 26-28 or in John 18-20 without sobbing. When I think about how they scorned and scourged and bruised MY Saviour, I just cannot help it! Albeit, I know deep within, that His suffering were to bring unto ALL PEOPLE eternal life. He took the pain, He took the penalty, He who knew no sin bore the sin for us! Oh how the sinless, most impeccable, spotless ONE took upon Himself our sin, and bore our shame upon a cross! Does that mean anything to you? In fact, what does Easter really mean to you?
- Is it about decorating and eating Easter eggs?
- Is it about all the Easter candy that floats around during this time of year?
- Is it about flying kites in sunny opened air? (A childhood tradition back in the Caribbean)
- Is it about eating fish on Good Friday? (Another childhood tradition back in the Caribbean).
- Is it about. . . . fill in the blanks
I remember growing up our traditional Easter Season began with Palm Sunday. We used to celebrate Palm Sunday by waving palm leaves in a march after the Sunday morning service. I remember getting up super early on Good Friday to catch the beautiful sunrise, eat my mom’s yummy Good Friday breakfast, watch my brothers and other kids in the neighbourhood prepare kites for flying, and getting all my chores done super early so I could sit and watch the Easter movies all day on Good Friday. I so used to love those crucifixion themed movies. I do not remember them all now but I specifically know there was one called “The Robe”. And then to top of the Easter season, we would go the beach on Easter Monday and have a blast all day. Families got up early and prepared huge meals and took them to the beach. That alone shows that there was no intent to leave the ocean anytime soon.
But my friend, it is not all about
having fun and keeping traditions! It is a time to reflect upon the CROSS and what Christ did for us. He gave His life so that we, ungrateful, undeserving, wretched sinners, would not have to pay the penalty for our own sins! Consider these words from Isaiah 53:
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The entire chapter of Isaiah 53 is heart wrenching and bone chilling! What if Christ had not paid the debt for our sins? Where would we be today?
Can you see within you the crown of thorns being placed upon His head? Can you hear within you the nails being driven in His hands and feet? Can you see within you Him carrying that heavy cross up to Golgotha? Can you feel within you the agony and the pain He went through for you? Oh my friend, He went through a great deal just to save us from our sins. Consider how He demonstrated His Love toward us in these Meditational Easter Verses printable below. And if Easter means nothing to you, I encourage you to stop for a minute and consider what Christ did for you on the cross.
I am glad that Christ did not just die and bury, but He rose again that WE might have life through Him. He took away the gloomy feeling of the cross by bringing new hope and cheer! Here are a few verses from Matthew 28 that depicts His resurrection:
1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
He did it my friend, He did it for YOU and for ME, let us not push Him aside. Consider His love and invite Him into your life Today and let Easter mean more to you than just
keeping traditions and having fun!
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:9-13).
One of my favorite songs about the Cross is by the Gettys: The power of the cross (I tried inserting a YouTube video but was having issues so I left it out). But the link will take you to a YouTube video of the song. Such powerful words: I cannot sing this song without being deeply moved, especially when it comes to the last line in the chorus. Here is the first verse and chorus.
Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.
This, the pow’r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath-
We stand forgiven at the cross.
Others Songs that reflect the cross:
Via Dolorosa – Sandi Pattiy
Worthy is the Lamb – Thank you for the Cross Lord, Thank you for the price you paid – Hillsong-Worthy is the Lamb (Darlene Zschech)
I know this post was a bit lengthy, but I hope during this passion week, you will find the true meaning of Easter in walking with Christ!!
This post is part of our Snippets From God’s Word series. And just in case you missed the first two, I have included their links below: