Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).
The concluding verse of our song, The Old Rugged Cross, contains a commitment to follow Christ in this life and looks forward to life with Him in eternity.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true, Its shame and reproach gladly bear; Then Hell call me some day to my home far away, Where His glory forever Ill share.
When coupled with the preceding Scriptural verse, our text mirrors these thoughts: . . . let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us (v.1). In this life, we have both the victorious examples of many that have gone before (Hebrews 11), and Christ, Himself. Both He and they have suffered joyfully, and so can we: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, . . . But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christs sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye (I Peter 4:1214).
Once Christ fully endured the cross, He rose from the dead in victory over death to take His rightful place at the right hand of the throne of God. He now calls us to be crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20), in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7). Hell call us some day to Himself, where we shall sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6), and so shall we ever be with the Lord (I Thessalonians 4:17). So Ill cherish the old rugged cross. JDM