The Old Rugged Cross – Why I Love Good Friday

crossAs a pastor, I don’t often get to visit other churches because I am usually ministering the Word on Sunday mornings. However, because our church didn’t do a Good Friday service this year, I had the opportunity to visit one of our local Lutheran churches this morning. As the hymns and Scripture readings went through Christ’s passion from the Gospel of John, I was reminded about why I love Good Friday so much.

It was on that first Good Friday some almost two thousand years ago that Jesus died on the Cross… for me. I was a sinner, and because of my sins, I deserved to die. But Jesus – the sinless, spotless lamb of God – motivated by love – died for me, so that I could live. He was forsaken so that I could be forgiven. He was punished so that I could be set free. And because of that, I will always cherish the old rugged cross.

Today, I hope you will take some time to meditate and reflect upon the amazing love of God that was demonstrated in the Cross.

The Old Rugged Cross:

On a hill far away  Stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering 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.


Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?”  So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!”  Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!”  So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified. 

Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison.  And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head,  and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him.  And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.” (Mark 15:12-20).


About Chris Jordan

Husband. Father. Author. Pastor. High School Bible Teacher. Follower of Jesus. And I enjoy a good cup of coffee!
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7 Responses to The Old Rugged Cross – Why I Love Good Friday

  1. Thank you Chris, a beautiful remembrance and yes Jesus not only made it possible for us to be forgiven of our past sins but to be set free from the Slavery of sin so we don’t sin any longer when we have been Born again of the Holy Spirit, who we ask for and receive.

    John 8:34-36 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    1 John 3: 1-11 ( 9) No one who is Born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been Born of God.

    Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

    Romans 6:22-23 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Romans 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

    Many blessings for you and your family for Easter and always – Anne

  2. Mel Wild says:

    Amen, Chris. I can never get over what Jesus did for me, and all of us. I think we’re going to try to watch Jesus of Nazareth this weekend again. It’s a classic reminder. Have a blessed Resurrection Weekend!

  3. The simplest of reminders – and the most powerful. May the Spirit bless you with His peace this weekend.

  4. I preached on the crucifixion Wednesday night. Believe it or not, I even ended the message with The Old Rugged Cross, too. But let me tell you, I was so sick Wednesday that I didn’t even think I’d be able to make it 10 minutes behind the pulpit. I jokingly said, “I hope it wasn’t a waste of your time to drive out to hear me preach a 10 minute sermon, but I just don’t have the energy to do much more than read some scripture.”

    35 minutes later, pumped like a racing bike tire, I was coming six inches off the ground and praising God for His gift of grace poured out on a cross that should have been mine! My wife later said, “Why do you always say it’s just going to be a few minutes when you know God’s going to give you what you need?” Then, a little while later, I heard her tell somebody on the phone, “It was supposed to be a Wednesday night Bible study, but it ended up being a Sunday morning.”

    Thinking about the cross will do that. Amen?

    • Chris Jordan says:

      Anthony – thanks for sharing that story. And thank God for His grace to help us do what we do, amen? I know sometimes I go into a service feeling like the message isn’t going to be great, but then God comes and breathes upon His words and transforms it into something supernatural. Awesome! And amen… blessings to you, your family and your church as you get ready for Sunday morning…

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