“Surveying the Cross” The Roman Centurion

March 25, 2016

Good Friday
Cross made of twigs
This, the pow’r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.
“Surveying the Cross” The Roman Centurion

Message Summary: The Roman centurion has the distinction of having the first words recorded in Scripture following Christ’s death. Immediately after Christ breathed His last, “he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!'”

This is the same profession of faith that Christ affirmed concerning Himself when He asked the disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15,16).

That Jesus is the “son of God” is a central tenet in the Christian faith. It’s interesting to study this phrase beginning in Acts and through the Epistles and in the book of Revelation.

Today are you able to declare, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”?

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!'” (Mark 15:39).

Today we especially remember the great sacrifice where “on an old rugged cross God’s dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain.”

This week we have been considering those who surveyed the cross, that is, those who witnessed the events of Calvary. When you consider all four gospels you discover there are several individuals that surely have a story to tell but we consider just four this week.

Roman centurion at cross Today’s was likely the very closest in physical proximity to Christ when He died, the Roman Centurion. Our daily text states at the time of Christ’s death this centurion “was standing right in front of Him.”

We have no idea about this man’s background or what became of him following the events of Calvary. However, it’s very hard to believe that he wouldn’t have been a very changed man after that which he witnessed.

His only words recorded in Scripture reveal that he witnessed something very significant when he “saw the way He (Christ) breathed His last.”

I wonder if this is referring to the entire time period of Christ’s crucifixion or specifically His final breath. Based on a careful reading of the text it would seem that he’s referring to that which he saw upon Christ’s final breath. The scene must have been so moving that it prompted a remarkable proclamation of faith.

This Roman centurion has the distinction of having the first words recorded in Scripture following Christ’s death. Immediately after Christ breathed His last, “he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!'”

This is the same profession of faith that Christ affirmed concerning Himself when He asked the disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15,16).

That Jesus is the “son of God” is a central tenet in the Christian faith. It’s interesting to study this phrase beginning in Acts and through the Epistles and in the book of Revelation.

Today are you able to declare, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, when the Roman Centurion was an eyewitness to Jesus’s crucifixion up to his final breath he was moved and convinced that Christ was more than human, indeed he declared, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” Though we were not eye witnesses of that most important historical event, through the testimony of many witnesses and through the power of Your Holy Spirit, we too can declare present tense, “Truly, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Because we have the full record in Scripture we can rejoice even before we commemorate your death on Good Friday because we know You rose again and ever live to make intercession for us. Thank You for Your abundant mercy and lavish grace! Amen.


Matthew and Luke also record the story about this centurion: Luke’s account varies slightly, “And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” (Luke 23:46,47). This variation may be due to another statement by the centurion during that time frame.


Early this morning we will be going to Washington DC with some friends to view the Cherry Blossoms and hopefully visit David’s Tent, a very unique ministry that has a worship tent near the Washington Monument as a witness for Truth.


Some scenes from our footwashing last night.

“The Basin And The Towel”  Video  Michael Card  Last night we had a Maundy Thursday service in our church in which we remembered the Lord’s death in sharing Communion and also footwashing.

Since footwashing is not practiced in many churches (we did not practice it in other affiliations I have had) let me describe our practice: The men and boys go to one room while the women and girls stay in the main room. We sit in a circle and remove our shoes and sock. We move around the circle one by one having our feet washed and then in turn washing the next. Essentially washing is merely splashing some water on the feet and then drying them off. It’s symbolic of servanthood. We also sing hymns together.

Footwashing service

Footwashing service

Footwashing service

Footwashing service


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“The Old Rugged Cross”  Video  Guy Penrod

“The Power Of The Cross”  Video   Kristyn Getty

“What Kind Of Man Is This?”  Video  Dallas Holm A song written from the Roman Centurion’s perspective.

“When I Survey The Wondrous Cross”  Video   Homecoming Singers with several solos

Major Events of the Passion Week

An astounding 30 of the 89 accumulative chapters in the four gospels cover the period beginning with Christ’s triumphal entry through His resurrection and post-resurrection appearances. Mathematically this means that approximately 33% of the written material in the Gospels deals with a mere .05% period of His life! In the providence of God we have a much greater proportion of Scriptural revelation dealing with God’s greatest act of mercy in providing our redemption.

Here’s an interesting chart from a Study Bible that may be helpful as you study the Bible this week. It sure helps me to have a sense of when the events took place and is inspiring to read these Scriptures in the daily sequence leading up to Easter.

Sunday

Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19

Monday

Jesus Clears the Temple: Mt. 21:12,13; Mk. 11:15-17; Lk. 19:45,46

Tuesday/Wednesday

Jesus’ authority challenged in the temple: Mt. 21:23-27; Mk. 11:27-33; Lk. 20:1-8
Jesus teaches stories and confronts the Jewish leaders: Mt. 21:28-23:36; Mk. 12:1-40; Lk. 20:9-47
Greeks ask to see Jesus: Jn. 12:20-26
The Olivet Discourse: Mt. 24; Mk. 13; Lk. 21:5-38
Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Mt. 26:14-16; Mk. 14:10,11; Lk. 22:3-6

Thursday

The Last Supper:  Mt. 26:26-29; Mk. 14:22-25; Lk. 22:14-20
Jesus speaks to the disciples in the upper room:  Jn 13-17
Jesus struggles in Garden of Gethsemane: Mt. 26:36-46; Mk. 14:32-42; Lk. 22:39-46; Jn. 18:1
Jesus is betrayed and arrested: Mt. 26:47-56; Mk. 14:43-52; Lk. 22:47-53; Jn. 18:2-12

Friday

Jesus is tried by Jewish and Roman authorities and disowned by Peter: Mt 26:57-27:2, 11-31; Mk 14:53-15:20; Lk 22:54-23:25; Jn 18:13-19:16
Jesus is crucified and buried: Mt 27:31-56; Mk 15:20-41; Lk 23:26-49; Jn 19:17-30

Sunday

The glorious resurrection: Mt. 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-11; Lk 24:1-12; Jn 20:1-18

(This material is developed from an outline in the Life Application Bible)


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