As 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.
FROM THE BIBLE:
“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).