Blake Shelton told him to not be afraid to sing ‘OL RUGGED CROSS’ on national TV!

One of the world’s most beloved hymns on one of today’s most popular singing competition shows? It couldn’t possibly work. But it does. And it brings the house to its feet.

When Blake Shelton encouraged The Voice hopeful Craig Wayne Boyd to sing this special song, the country-singing contestant embraced the opportunity. And it is a good thing he did. The song was a top-downloaded offering that week. It also solidified Craig as a top contender on the show.

The Old Rugged Cross, written in 1913 by George Bernard, is a story that speaks of the precious crucifixion of Jesus. How many Christians through the years have clung to the Old Rugged Cross as a symbol of salvation and God’s unsurpassing love for his people?

Crucifixion on a cross was invented by the Roman Empire as a method of torturous execution of criminals. It is thought to be among the most brutal forms of death ever devised. Death came slowly and painfully, as the criminal fought to lift himself up – on a foundation of nail-pierced feet – to catch brief gasps of breath. Eventually, the subject suffocated.

A brutal form of punishment for criminals, it is all the more distressing to know that Jesus, who lived a perfect life, endured this torture. The reason he did this? For you. Jesus loves you so much that he gave his life. Whoever believes in him will have eternal life (John 3:16).

There is no greater love story than the crucifixion. And, this 100-year-old song reminds us of the love Jesus has for us.

Dr. Tabor gives three encouragements from the story of the crucifixion. 

Jesus put you first. – Before Jesus went to the cross, he spent time in agonizing prayer with God. In his distress, he sweated drops of blood (Luke 22:44) – a real medical condition that can occur when immense stress causes blood vessels in the forehead to break, mingling sweat with blood. Despite his anguish, he still said to his Heavenly Father, “Not my will, but Thine be done.” (Luke 22:42)

Jesus took your sins. – 1 Peter 2:24 says, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” Jesus never sinned, but he was willing to carry our sins on the cross, so we could be forgiven and have a relationship with God.

Jesus conquered death. – The story of the crucifixion doesn’t end with the death of Jesus on the cross. It culminates in the Easter story. After three days in the tomb, Jesus rose from the dead – conquering death and giving us eternal life with him (Mark 16).

No wonder The Old Rugged Cross is such a beloved song! Jesus is our beloved! And Craig Wayne Boyd reminds us of that with this powerful rendition!

As Coach Blake nods along in approval, watch the audience respond! It is not hard to see how much Craig believes the words he is singing and the meaning behind them. You, too, will be inspired by the message and the passion with which Craig delivers this modern performance of an old favorite. Watch to the end for a climactic conclusion.

Are you clinging to The Old Rugged Cross? Share this video with someone who needs the message of the cross!

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