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

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Articles

Ministry Help Wanted

Recent postings: Michigan City (Ind.) Christian Church is seeking a senior minister. Impact Christian Church (Moon Township, Pa.) looks to hire an executive pastor. The Christian Campus Foundation (CCF) at the University of Illinois is seeking a full-time director of campus ministry. New Brighton (Minn.) Christian Church needs a new senior minister. And more . . .

Stories

By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.