17 April, 2024

The Centurion’s Testimony

by | 1 April, 2024 | 1 comment

By Edwin White 

“So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, ’Truly this Man was the Son of God!’” (Mark 15:39, New King James Version). 

Roman centurions were either junior- or middle-grade officers in the army. They typically were in command of 80 soldiers. Senior centurions could lead a cohort of 1,000 men. Executions were usually carried out by a group of soldiers, called lictors, under the command of a centurion. 

These men were career officers, hardened military men who carried out their orders without question. They must have wondered about their duty that day. They understood the punishment of two of the men who were being executed. They were thieves who may have been involved in insurrection. The third victim was the curiosity. He had committed no crimes. He was delivered to them because of the envy of the corrupt religious leaders in Jerusalem. 

Knowing Jesus was a righteous man, the centurion and the soldiers with him came to believe he was the Son of God. Two things led them to that conclusion. First, Jesus cried out with a loud voice just before he died. Victims of crucifixion typically lapsed into an unconscious state before they breathed their last, but Jesus was strong enough to cry out loudly. It seemed unnatural. They could only conclude that he was who he claimed to be, the Son of God. Second, they witnessed the earthquake and other supernatural phenomena that occurred immediately following Jesus’ death. When those things occurred, it made them very fearful and led them to believe he was indeed the Son of God. 

Testimony like that from those who carried out Jesus’ execution should lead us to conclude they were right. Jesus was and is the Son of God who laid down his life on the cross to save us from our sins. We have been accepted into the family of God because of our faith in Jesus and our obedience to his word. Let us rejoice in our salvation as we partake of the Lord’s Supper. 

Ed White is a retired Christian minister. He earned degrees from Mid-South Christian College, Alabama Christian School of Religion, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He lives in Milledgeville, Ga. His book of Communion meditations, Come to the Table, is available from Amazon. 

1 Comment

  1. dennis t reid

    Thanks for sharing this Mr White

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