“The Old Rugged Cross”

By George BennardSongofGoodNews


“For ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,

to pardon and sanctify me.”


Acts 2:22-24 – Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, as you yourselves know.  This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.  But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.


Philippians 2:8 – And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on the cross!

George Bennard, a Methodist evangelist, published this hymn in 1915.  The words speak more to his Christian experience than to his adoration of God.  This hymn was my father’s favorite.  He found a meaningful church life when I was a teenager after my Mom survived open heart surgery way back in 1966.  My mother used to take my brother and me to church faithfully without Dad when we were youngsters.  My heart always ached that Dad did not join us.  When he did turn to God, it was a very personal experience for him.  I believe he felt the words to “The Old Rugged Cross” were written especially for him.  His eyes would often fill with tears while listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford’s recording of the hymn.  Hearing The Old Rugged Cross today fills me with warm memories of Dad and his personal relationship with God.


Dear Lord, help me remember that your Son’s humble and obedient death on that old rugged cross was to pardon and sanctify ME.  Allow the words of The Old Rugged Cross to remind me of those in my family who have stood as loving examples of your message.  Amen