March 16th, 2016
Leading criminals to their death on a cross was part of the job description for many Roman soldiers. For the centurion in Mark 15, this particular day became a turning point. Most likely, this was not the centurion’s first day in Jerusalem. How many criminals did he nail to a cross during his tenure? This would have been standard operating procedure, just another day on the job. Surely the centurion had seen criminals fight back, deny the charges, and curse their accusers with their dying breath. Yet he saw none of that this time.
The centurion spent a good part of that first Good Friday doing his job. Perhaps he even joined others in mocking Jesus or rolled his eyes when Jesus’ followers wept. Then it happened–a spiritual “ah-ha” moment the centurion could not deny: Jesus was different from all the others he had crucified.
How different this centurion’s life may have been after his encounter with Christ. Jesus wasn’t a criminal or madman or just a nice guy. He is the Son of God.
Author: Katie Heid