He was inspired to write one of the most beautiful hymns in the book. The year was 1913 when George Bennard looked deep into his heart, and by direction of the Holy Spirit penned these powerful words.
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.
O 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 that 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.
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.
Today we join the world in celebrating the redeeming work of Jesus on the cross. As this single event changed the course of history throughout the world, it was the empty tomb that set Jesus apart, and crowned him Lord. It is this victory over death which serves as the backdrop, as we together worship our God. What great love he has for us. To redeem us. To rescue us. To give us a new identity, into a new family. And if that was not enough, he gave us a new eternal address. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow! Today we stand in the shadow of the cross, and praise our God with grateful hearts.