by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God (Mark 15:39).
25And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
26And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
27And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.
28And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
29And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,
30Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
31Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.
32Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
33And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
34And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
35And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.
36And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.
37And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
38And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
39And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
Jesus was nailed to the cross. At Calvary the wickedness and depravity of human nature was made evident, but the infinitely great love of God for lost sinners was also revealed. Who can fully realize, what Christ suffered in body and soul as He hung on the cross during those three long hours of thick darkness? Finally out of the darkness came the agonizing cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" and later another loud cry; then Jesus yielded up the ghost. "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened."
Well might the foundations of the earth tremble when He, by whom all things were created, died upon the cross. "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." Luke tells us that the centurion glorified God. Here was the answer to Christ's prayer, Father, forgive them. Though the scribes, elders, and chief priests hardened their hearts against the truth, these heathen people, the centurion and they that were with him, acknowledged Christ to be the Son of God. "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
O Lord, how wonderful Thou art in the revelation of Thine infinite love and marvelous grace! Thou didst deliver up Thy Son to suffering and death, yea, the cruel death on the cross. He died as an evil doer, and yet in the very hour of his death Thou didst manifest Thy saving grace, in that the thief on the cross recognized him as the Eternal King, and the Roman centurion acknowledged him as the Son of God. O Lord, help us now to adore him, as He sits at Thy right hand in glory. Have mercy on us. Fill our mouth with Thy praise, for his sake. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Matt. 27:50-52, 54; 1 John 5:72.
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