"ROOM AT THE CROSS"
"And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross…" (Eph. 2.16)
INTRO.: A song which refers to the cross upon which Jesus died as the instrument by which we can be reconciled to God and thus the source to which we must come for salvation is "Room at the Cross." This is not to be confused with another more recent gospel song that has the similar title of "Room at the Cross for You" by Ira F. Stanphill (#345 in Hymns for Worship Revised). The text was written and the tune was composed both by William B. Blake (1832-1915). I have been able to find no other information about this person, except that he is almost certainly not the famous eighteenth-century English poet of such well known works as Songs of Innocence. Neither have I been able to find out any information about the background of the song, other than that it was first published in the 1911 Select Hymns of the Gospel Trumpet Company. It also was used in Evening Light Songs, published in 1949 and reissued in 1987, by Faith Publishing House. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1935 Christian Hymns (No.1), the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2, and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 all edited by L. O. Sanderson; the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch; and the 1965 Great Christian Hymnal No. 2 edited by Tillit S. Teddlie. Today it may be found in the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.
The song makes a good invitation song to call those who need the Savior to come to Him.
I. Stanza 1 is addressed to the trembling soul
"Room at the Cross for a trembling soul, Room at the Cross for you;
Where the sin-laden may be made whole, Room at the Cross for you."
A. The cross, as the instrument upon which Jesus died, is the symbol of God’s plan for our salvation: 1 Cor. 1.18
B. The trembling soul is the one who hears God’s word and is pricked in his heart: Acts 2.36-37
C. In coming to the cross, the sin-laden trembling soul can find rest: Matt. 11.28-30
II. Stanza 2 is addressed to the breaking heart
"Room at the Cross for the breaking heart, Room at the Cross for you;
Choose, then, like Mary, the better part, Room at the Cross for you."
A. Because the cross is the symbol of God’s plan for our salvation, we should glory only in the cross: Gal. 6.14
B. The breaking heart is the contrite spirit who recognizes that he has sinned: Ps. 51.17
C. In coming to the cross, the broken heart, like Mary, chooses the better part by sitting at the feet of Jesus: Lk. 10.42
III. Stanza 3 is addressed to the sad and worn
"Room at the cross for the sad and worn, Room at the Cross for you;
Come, then, O come, then, why longer mourn, Room at the Cross for you."
A. The cross, as a symbol, becomes the means by which we can have reconciliation and peace: Eph. 2.16, Col. 1.20
B. The original read of line 1, "earth’s weary and worn," and in an honest heart the weariness of this world certainly produces a godly sorrow: 2 Cor. 7.10
C. The original of line 3 read, "ye souls who mourn," but those who come to the cross do not have to continue mourn but can find comfort in Christ: Matt. 5.4
CONCL.: The chorus reminds us that coming to the cross is essential in being right with God.
"Room, room, room at the Cross, Room at the Cross for you;
Room, room, room at the Cross, Room at the Cross for you."
Jesus died on the cross to make atonement for the sins that separate us from God and produce so many troubles and problems in our lives. The preaching of the cross calls to sinful people to bring their guilt to Christ, bow before Him in humble submission to obey His will, and thus be saved from their sins. A lost and dying world needs to know that there is "Room at the Cross."