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14991
“The Old Rugged Cross”
by Crossroads   
October 26th, 2011

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.

1 Corinthians 1:18 - "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

 

"O most merciful Christ,” wrote the faithful reformer Jan Hus as he waited for his execution in 1415 AD, “give us a courageous spirit, so that it may be ready. And if the flesh is weak, may your grace go before it, for without you we can do nothing.”

 

In the eyes of the church establishment, Hus had committed heresy. He believed that everyone should be allowed to read the Bible in their own language -- an unthinkable notion in a culture that reserved God's Word for elite students of Latin. He also opposed the pope's money-raising efforts to sell indulgences (the false assurance that people could buy or earn pardon for sin instead of trusting in Christ's redemption through the cross).

Hus was "tried" and found guilty. When asked to recant, he refused. Instead he knelt and prayed that God would forgive his accusers. Mocked and humiliated, he was led naked to the stake, where executioners covered him with wood and straw for the fire.

Given a last chance to recant, he answered, "In the truth of the Gospel which I have written, taught, and preached I will die today with gladness." Then the fire was lit using pages from the forbidden Bible printed by John Wycliffe as kindling. Enveloped in flames, Hus kept singing an old hymn, "Christ, thou Son of the living God, have mercy upon me." He died praising the Lord He loved!

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.

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