Pain and that Old Rugged Cross

Holy Saturday Reflection - The Old Rugged Cross

Good Friday is the day when Jesus suffered from that awful cross in Calvary. As human beings we think of the times when we feel much pain, physical or emotional, that weigh on us heavily.

Some of us have had a brush with death or have been seriously ill. Others have had freak accidents, or simply grieving from a loved one's loss. Wounds and swellings hurt. Hindsight, for what we are celebrating today - Good Friday - for whatever pain we feel, is most likely less compared to what Christ must have felt as he suffered on that rugged cross.  Let us once again reflect on Christ's 7 last words that form the part of Christian meditation for the Holy Week. 

The Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross

1. Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).

2. Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).

3. Woman, behold your son: behold your mother (John 19:26-27).

4. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).

5. I thirst (John 19:28).

6. It is finished (John 19:30).

7. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46).

As we ponder down the "fourth word" of Jesus, we think of his accumulated grief, and not of his doing. To Christians all over the world, it's not any wonder that the weight and gravity of all the sins Christ bore squeezed the life out of him on that moment he suffered. (Matthew 26:36-44). His disciples slept on him. Judas betrayed him. Even Peter denied him three times. The load of the day must have been too much for him to think that his own father could forsake him.

But for love, Christ endured it. His strength bore it. He did it for you and me. By faith, Christians believe that without a doubt he triumphed over it all.

"On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,

The emblem of suffering and shame;

I will cherish that old rugged cross,

Till my trophies at last I lay down;

I will cling to that old rugged cross,

And exchange it someday for a crown."

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