Scripture Reference: Mark 15:16-47
The last person to see Jesus alive was also the first person to convert. This morning, I shared that a Roman centurion at the foot of the cross in Mark 15 oversaw Jesus’s crucifixion. He testified, “Truly this was the Son of God.” The leading man responsible for seeing Jesus nailed to the cross is also the first person changed by Jesus’s death. The power of Jesus’s cross can transform a torturer into a follower. The centurion was the first evangelist of the crucifixion. He reported Jesus’s death to Pilate and transferred oversight of Jesus’s body to Joseph of Arimathea.
The ones who saw Jesus’s miracles and heard his teachings either fled the cross or mocked our Lord. But the one person who never met Jesus personally until his death became the first person after his death to testify openly of his authority as the Son of God.
What does that mean for us today?
Never give up on an enemy. Christ’s death can conquer your worst persecutor. When people are oppressing Christians, they’re often more open than ever before to Jesus’s power.
Faith doesn’t come from more evidence. The mockers at the foot of the cross demanded more signs. The dying Son of God is the only sign we’ll ever need. Jesus’s death was enough for the centurion. Faith is obediently trusting Jesus’s death for your sins and mine.
Even though the disciples did not stay with him, a Roman military officer did. If Jesus can change him, he can change you too.