Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.Matthew 27:54(KJV)
Surely the life of the centurion who uttered these earth-shattering words by divine revelation, was never the same again. Surely for all who can look to the Lord Jesus in His death and resurrection and declare, truly this is the Son of God - the Saviour of the world, life can never, ever be the same again.
No doubt this man was witness to the reviling actions of the Jews and the distress of the women, as Christ was led as a lamb to the slaughter. No doubt he also heard the precious pardon awarded to the dying thief; the words of grace offered to His mother; His anguished cry when He took the full weight of the world's sin upon His sinless shoulders and surely this same centurion heard Christ's triumphant proclamation of His forever finished work - IT IS FINISHED - Tetelestai.
What a unique catalogue of events took place in that brief moment of time. Mockers scorned, women wept and the whole heavenly host gazed on in stunned silence and awestruck wonder, as the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the final letter-of-the-Law to satisfy the holy requirements of a thrice-holy God. The earth was shaken to its very foundation, the sun was blackened as thick darkness shrouded the bloody scene of 'life-giving death'. The veil of the temple was torn through from top to bottom and the Son of God, Who had drained the bitter cup to its dregs, placed Himself into His Father's keeping, willingly giving up His life for all.
This centurion had no doubt been an eye-witness to scores of crucifixions, for this was the long, slow and painful death that had been introduced by Rome to ensure that the convicted criminal, under Rome's jurisdiction, suffered the most excruciating agony in payment for their wicked deeds. This man had no doubt been present at the cruel beating of Christ and witnessed the point when the sun was darkened for three hours and an great earthquake announced heavens verdict on the sinful actions of sinful man - as well as Christ's redemptive payment for the sins of those same sinful men - and for your sin and mine as well.
And so this same centurion who had witnessed this unique happening on this pivotal day in the history of humanity was caused to announce in tones that would reverberate down through the corridors of time: truly this was the Son of God - .
Surely the life of the centurion who witnessed his Saviour dying on the Tree of crucifixion and who uttered those earth-shattering words by divine revelation, was never, ever the same again. Truly this IS the Son of God.
Loving Father, as I reflect on the awesome scene that took place when the Lord Jesus suffered and died for me, I bless Your name for revealing to me the gospel of grace and for drawing me into Your family as Your child. May I never become so 'familiar' with this scene that I forget its true significance. I worship before Your throne for You truly are my most wonderful Saviour and I love You, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.