A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Note: This week we have been considering witnesses during the events of Holy Week that are rather incidental to the main story, but like each one of us, they have a story.
Friday, April 10, 2020
This, the pow'r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.
"The Roman Centurion"
Message summary: Today are you able to declare, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God"?
Listen 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 have a life changing story to share.
The Roman Centurion was likely the very closest in physical proximity to Christ when He died. 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 words recorded in Scripture reveal that he witnessed something very significant when he "saw the way He (Christ) breathed His last".
Based on a careful reading of the text it would seem that he's referring to that which he witnessed upon Christ's final breath. The scene must have been so moving that it prompted a remarkable proclamation of faith.
"The Roman centurion is not one you would have expected to be impressed. He was there but casually; had probably only been in Jerusalem a few days. His deities were those whose chief characteristic was power. Meekness and lowliness were, by his people, considered failings, not virtues. He had probably everything about religion to learn; and yet he follows the dying thief in the path of faith and of salvation. He would not mean, perhaps, by his exclamation, all that Peter or Paul would have meant; but he meant that Christ was more than mere man; that God was in Him; that whatever claims He made we should reverently admit them. Such a converting power is there in the mere sight of Christ. We have but to fix our honest gaze on Him and we begin to believe upon Him and to become like Him." (R. Glover in the Biblical Illustrator).
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 let us declare, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God"! And let us live in such a way that we help others to discover who He is, what He has done, and the salvation He offers to all who come to Him.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, when the Roman Centurion was an eyewitness to Jesus' crucifixion up to his final breath he was moved and convinced that Christ was more than human, since 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 is due to another statement by the centurion during that same time frame.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"What Kind Of Man Is This?" Video Dallas Holm A song written from the Roman Centurion's perspective.
"The Power of the Cross" Video Keith & Kristyn Getty (We quote from this song below our opening picture)
"What Kind of Man" Video Legacy Five
This beautiful cluster of yellow and white daffodils really stood out on my walk this week.
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 as I read these Scriptures in the daily sequence leading up to Easter.
Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19
Jesus Clears the Temple: Matthew 21:12,13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45,46
Jesus' authority challenged in the temple: Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8
Jesus teaches stories and confronts the Jewish leaders: Matthew. 21:28-23:36; Mark 12:1-40; Luke 20:9-47
Greeks ask to see Jesus: John 12:20-26
The Olivet Discourse: Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-38
Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10,11; Luke 22:3-6
The Last Supper: Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20
Jesus speaks to the disciples in the upper room: John 13-17
Jesus struggles in Garden of Gethsemane: Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1
Jesus is betrayed and arrested: Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12
Jesus is tried by Jewish and Roman authorities and disowned by Peter: Matthew 26:57-27:2, 11-31; Mark 14:53-15:20; Luke 22:54-23:25; John 18:13-19:16
Jesus is crucified and buried: Matthew 27:31-56; Mark 15:20-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-30
The glorious resurrection: Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18
(This material is developed from an outline provided in the Life Application Bible.)
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