Exploring the biblical theology of Christian egalitarianism

near the cross, Fanny Crosby

“In the Cross,” written by Fanny Crosby, is one of my favourite hymns. It was sung regularly in the Reformed Church I belonged to as a child, and since then I’ve sung it frequently during my own times of worship … and in the car … and anywhere really, despite having a slight qualm about the wording in a couple of lines.

On this special day of the year, Good Friday, I’m sharing it here with you.

Jesus, keep me near the cross; there a precious fountain.
Free to all, a healing stream flows from Calvary’s mountain.
(Refrain)

Near the cross, a trembling soul, love and mercy found me.
There the bright and morning star sheds its beams around me.
(Refrain)

Near the cross! O Lamb of God, bring its scenes before me.
Help me walk from day to day with its shadow o’er me.
(Refrain)

Near the cross I’ll watch and wait, hoping, trusting ever
‘Till I reach the golden strand just beyond the river.
Refrain:
In the cross, in the cross, be my glory ever
‘Till my ransomed soul shall find rest beyond the river.

Jesus’ crucifixion is, of course, central to our faith and hope as Christians. Even though it was a historic event that occurred in the ancient past, its ramifications continue. Jesus’ death on the cross, and his atonement for our sin, allows us today to enter into a new and living way (Heb. 10:20). The cross is the doorway into the new life that Jesus offers to every woman and man, girl and boy, on the planet (John 10:9).

We need to keep near the cross, but we also need to keep moving further into our new life as we continue to be transformed and conformed into Jesus’ likeness (e.g. 2 Cor. 3:18).

As followers of Jesus, there is the wondrous tension and challenge of understanding and living out the sacrifice of the cross and of understanding and living out the triumph of the risen and exalted Jesus … because Jesus did not stay on the cross. His death was followed by his resurrection, and then by his ascension to his place of glory in the heavenly realms.

Have a blessed paschal holiday as we contemplate our amazing Saviour and our amazing salvation!


Image Credit

Mary Magdalene embracing Jesus’ cross. Excerpt from a painting located in the Basilica of Saint Nicolas in Tolentino, Italy. (Wikimedia) The full artwork can be viewed here.

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2 thoughts on “Jesus, keep me near the cross

  1. Noone commenting on this one, Marg? Seems that there aren’t so many who want to live near the cross.

    You dislike sentimentality, I understand. But perhaps it isn’t just about contemplating the cross of Jesus, but also of carrying our own, which may not be so sentimental. For Fanny Crosby, who was blind, there might have been a somewhat different dimension to it than for most of the rest of us.

    It seems to me that many who have done great things in the kingdom of God have also themselves had to suffer a lot. I don’t know whether or not I should be thankful that I am not among them.

    1. I’ve noticed too that many of God’s best servants have experienced suffering.

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