Flipping through an old hymnal brought back a lot great memories of my early years growing up attending church. It definitely made me feel nostalgic. And I was struck by the number of songs about the cross. Back then I couldn’t fully appreciate all the songs that sing of the cross of Christ.
There were quite a few people who were crucified on those Roman instruments of torture. So what is it about the cross of Christ that is so powerful? What elicits such teary eyed wonder and praise? What’s so special about that cross? Checking out some of those hymns, the answer becomes evident.
At the Cross
“At the Cross, at the cross where I first saw the light
and the burdens of my heart rolled away.
It was there by faith, I received my sight.
And now I am happy all the day.”
And Isaac Watts’ When I survey the Wondrous Cross
“When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.”
Then: I Saw the Cross, by Frederick Whitfield, The 3rd verse reads:
“I trust the cross of Jesus in every trying hour,
My sure and certain refuge, my never failing tower;
In every fear and conflict, I more than conqueror am;
Living I’m safe, or dying, Thro’ Christ the living Lamb.”
Or: The Old Rugged Cross by George Benard, Verse 3:
“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.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross…”
And there’s many more. The love that was displayed on the cross of Christ, and the glorious cleansing it procures for all who trust in Jesus, elicits worship and love, praise and thanks, while revealing the power of God to transform hearts and lives.
Perhaps Jennie Evelyn Hussey’s chorus to Lead Me to Calvary sheds more light.
“Lest I forget Gethsemane
Lest I forget Thine agony
Lest I forget Thy love for me
Lead me to Calvary.”
Another illumining verse is from, In the Cross of Christ I Glory by John Bowring.
“When the woes of life o’re-take me
Hopes deceive and fears annoy
Never shall the cross forsake me
Lo, It glows with peace and joy”
For the Christian, the cross of Christ is the symbol of hope, of redemption and joy. All comfort is found in the shade of that Roman instrument of cruelty and torture, because of the one who died on it.
Jesus, the Prince of Peace and Lord of Glory.