On a Hill Far Away
By Emanuel Daugherty
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that O1d cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain
hymn from which the above lines are taken brings
the reader to the image of the cross on
The Book tells us that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there, and one can imagine the tremendous emotions washing through her as she helplessly watched her Son die. Were we to be transported back as silent observers of that scene, what would we witness that would etch itself into our memories and deepen both our appreciation for and sadness at such a moment? We would see:
One Lord. Everything that day centered upon the one Lord and His treatment at the hands of His enemies. Their efforts to remove Him as an influence by His execution failed, for posterity knows that only one Master exists, and He offered Himself on that day (Acts 4:12).
There were two crucified alongside Jesus, and they, by
deserved this penalty. At first, they cast insults and aspersions to
(Mark 15:32), but apparently as time passed, one of them reconsidered.
Four Soldiers. While the Lord was suspended from the tree, four soldiers were at the foot of the cross, entirely missing the significance of what was transpiring (John 19:23-24). Casting lots for the mundane, they were oblivious to the truth that Jesus was shedding His blood for humanity. How many repeat their error in seeing only the common in Christ, while missing the eternal significance of His sacrifice?
Five Close Friends. Though the soldiers were unaware, five of Jesus’ closest friends and followers, including His mother, were there, captivated by this terrible drama (John 19:25-27). In an amazing irony, they were no doubt feeling sorrow for Him, while He gazed down with concern for them!
Seven Sayings. Perhaps you are already acquainted with some of the statements of Christ from the cross. However, seen in their fullness they represent depths of love and emotion that is both very human and very worthy of the divine.
What tremendous range of concern, sentiment, and determination on behalf of humanity these comments reflect.
At the end of His life,
the significance of all that
occurred was observed by an impartial figure present that
centurion, who stated “Truly this
the son of God” (Matthew
27:54). If ever an image were
universally held in mind, surely it should be this one. The destiny of
humanity revolves around this scene and its implications. So our lives
revolve. May we each be able to sing the words of the hymn that so
calls to mind the tremendous significance of that day’s
events, and in so
doing, express out commitment to live in honor of that sacrifice.