In this sermon, our founding pastor, W. Graham Smith, examines Jesus fourth word from the cross– words of desolation– “Why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Here are some excerpts:

Desolation

“…’My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ Did you ever notice that this was the only occasion when He addressed His Father as ‘God’? Always before it had been ‘My Father.’

What Was The Meaning of Jesus’ Words?

There have been many attempts to penetrate behind the mystery of this saying, and we shall examine a few of them briefly…”

  • Others have believed that this cry was wrung from our Savior’s soul because He was being punished by God… A father does not punish his son for obeying him, and on the Cross Christ perfectly obeyed the Father’s will by finishing the work God gave Him to do…”
  • Still others have said that here we see Jesus plumbing the uttermost depths of human desolation… That, it is said, is what happened to Jesus on the Cross. This explanation leads us part of the way, but it does not take us far enough…”
  • In that moment the weight of the world’s sin fell upon the sinless heart and soul of Jesus… St. Paul… exclaims… as the Living Bible renders it, “For God took the sinless Christ and poured into Him our sins. Then, in exchange, He poured God’s goodness into us!”

Seeing Your Sin and The Need for a Pardon

“…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…”

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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.

 

March 13, 1994

Matthew 27:46 and Psalm 22:1

Rev. W. Graham Smith

Download Transcript (PDF)