When the centurion . . . saw how [Jesus] died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
This statement by the centurion is astounding. He was a commander of soldiers, a warrior for Rome, and he was supposed to worship the Roman caesar as his god. Yet here, at the scene of Jesus’ death on a cross, this non-Jewish man says Jesus is surely the Son of God. We don’t know exactly how the centurion came to this conclusion. The drama of the moment may have had something to do with it; Matthew reports that there was also an earthquake (Matthew 27:54). But somehow the Spirit of God moved the centurion to speak out this truth about Jesus.
While there are people who don’t believe in God, there will be a day when everyone will recognize that Jesus is the one Lord and King over all (Philippians 2:9-11). It could be at the time of their death or on judgment day, but it will happen. All who believe in Christ will make this confession with joy and praise, but, sadly, others will admit this reality with dread. Before we die and before the day of judgment, though, we can recognize that Jesus is the Son of God. Each one of us can ask God to help us see this today.
Jesus truly is the Son of God, whether we see it or not. It is a gift to see this reality for what it is, and it is only by God’s grace that we see the truth about Jesus.
Jesus, I do not know the depths of your love and sacrifice for me, and I wonder, “How can it be that you would die for me?” Help me to know you as Lord and King, and thank you for all you have done. Amen.
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