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Posts Tagged ‘centurion’

Mark 38-39
The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the [or a] Son of God!”

An epiphany is “a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.” For the centurions with execution detail, this was a commonplace experience. They had killed hundreds and hundreds of men. They had nailed them and stripped them and mocked them and thrown dice over their belongings. It was tedious work.

But at least one centurion began to see this man in a new light. He listened to his words. He watched him suffer and he watched him die and then he understood. They had just crucified a holy man, a son of God, a man, and yet not a man. Nor was this a quiet time; it was frightening. Darkness had descended upon the place followed by a great earthquake at Jesus’ death. People must have been running and screaming as anyone would during a cataclysm.

And what was next for this centurion? What did he think or do? Did he believe it was too late? Did he bow down before his new Lord right then? Did he weep like Peter or despair like Judas? Did he change?

My mind keeps going to that wonderful old book (by Lloyd C. Douglas, 1942) and the 1953 movie by the same name, The Robe (with Richard Burton and Victor Mature). Here Centurion Marcellus (Burton) does not transform immediately but over time, having won Jesus’ robe, he is affected by the proximity of the robe and haunted by his experiences on Golgotha. Eventually, he becomes a believer, joins the other Christians and ultimately he is martyred as many were under Caligula.

What does any of this mean for us… for me? I know what it means to have an epiphany… a true insight from God, but I confess I have archived most of them in distant reaches of my brain. Abba, forgive me. Give me mindfulness that I might build on the truths you reveal to me.

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