And when the centurion who stood in front of Jesus saw how he died, he said, ‘Truly this man was the son of God! - Mark 15:39
What did the centurion know that we don’t know? What did he see that we didn’t see? It was he who gave the orders to drive the nails and raise the cross upright. He saw the mocking inscription above the criminal’s head; he heard his anguished words of suffering. He watched as bystanders tormented the prisoner and he noticed when sympathy moved someone to offer the broken man a little cheap wine. The centurion knew all this, because he was standing right in front of Jesus when he died. He had been there from the very beginning of that pathetic scene, and yet it was at his death that he saw Jesus for what he was. There were no miracles, no halos, no thunder or lightening, only the dying Nazarene—and that alone inspired the worship of the centurion. What did he know that we don’t? Nothing— we know the story too. The area where we differ is not in knowledge, but in belief. I think most of us believe in Jesus as the Son of God because of what happened on Easter morning, but that Roman soldier believed because of what happened on Good Friday. He didn’t believe in Jesus in spite of the cross, but because of the cross—and that is truly a miracle!
As we approach and commemorate the events of Good Friday, I pray each of us may gain that brave and miraculous vision to see in the cross, neither folly nor scandal, but “the power and wisdom of God!”
In God’s service