A crucifixion is a most painful, cruel, and protracted form of execution which involved the victim being roped or nailed to an elevated wooden cross. This form of execution was favored by the Romans, who regarded it as a deterrent to political rebellion against the authority of Rome at the time of Jesus the Messiah.
A lot is going on. Jesus just died. The Temple curtain rips in half. His disciples are scattered. A Roman Captain is trying to keep things in order.
The conclusion: The Roman Captain is moved. He comes to a stunning conclusion. Jesus is the Son of God. He knows it. We can know it as well.
But Jesus, with a loud cry, gave his last breath. At that moment the Temple curtain ripped right down the middle. When the Roman captain standing guard in front of him saw that he had quit breathing, he said,
This has to be the Son of God!
Mark 15:37-39 (The Message)
Here is the good news! Jesus is the Son of God. Everyone who encounters Him comes away knowing it. It moves and motivates me. Jesus, the Son of God, died for me. I, like the Roman Captain, can’t ignore it.
- John 10:36 — Do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
- Luke 22:70 — And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.”
- John 19:7 — The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.”
- Revelation 2:18 — And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this.
Jesus is my Master. I am His slave. I will follow and obey Him. Following Him involves me. I don’t get to stand by and watch. I must carry a cross to my death. I must die to sin with Jesus. I must die to myself and follow Him. That is the deal.
- Mark 8:34 — And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”
- Matthew 10:38 — “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
- Luke 14:27 — “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.“
- Galatians 5:24 — Now those who belong to the Messiah Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
- Galatians 6:14 — But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Master Jesus the Messiah, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.