In this sermon, our founding pastor, W. Graham Smith, talks about the cross of Christ and what our response to His sacrifice should be. Here are some excerpts:

The Penalty Jesus Bore

Sin always separates a person from God.  The sinner feels like Cain, “cast out from the presence of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:16). On the Cross, Jesus was the Beloved son of His Father, and yet, because He was willingly and vicariously bearing the crushing weight of the world’s sin, God had to hide His face from Him; for God cannot look upon sin.

The penalty Jesus bore for us was the punishment which our sin deserved, and part of that penalty was the inevitable separation from God which sin inevitably brings; and it was because of that separation from His Father that in an agony of soul He cried,

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

This was the unspeakable spiritual agony of the Saviour.  Here was the crucifixion within the crucifixion.  It was at that precise moment that “God made His soul an offering for sin.” (Isaiah 53:10)

I do not know how to fathom, by any theory of atonement, what it was that happened at Calvary.  I only know that it was through those deep waters and that dark night that the Shepherd found His sheep.  And I only know that when they thrust our Lord outside the city gate to die, they put the key of the whole wide world into His pierced Hand forever.

The Cross of Christ– Our Response

What should the sight of the dying Lord, and the sound of His heart-rending cry, do for us this morning?  Surely it is the one thing that makes me feel my need of forgiveness.

“When to the Cross I turn my eyes,
And gaze on Calvary…”

I see not only ineffable purity – I see also suffering love – and seeing Jesus on His Cross, I realize that I helped to put Him there:  Thus, I see myself in all my sin and need of pardon.  And looking on the heart of God laid bare in redeeming love, I can only exclaim,

“Oh, dearly, dearly has He loved,
I must love Him too;
And trust in His redeeming blood,
And try His works to do.”


The Cross of Christ. Graham has a lot more to say about this topic. If you would like to learn more, please download and read the attached transcript of the sermon, as the above excerpts do not even scratch the surface. If you would like to do a word search on the transcript, download the file, and then open the file with your web browser after downloading and use your browser’s find feature.


January 2, 2000

Psalm 22

Rev. W. Graham Smith

Download Transcript (PDF)