47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” Luke 23:47
When Jesus breathed his last breath, the centurion who stood in front of him all that time was awestruck. Trained to be tough as nails and unyielding, he looked up and saw the lifeless form of an innocent man, who’d forgiven his executioners, his accusers, a criminal hanging beside him, and the jeering onlookers. Even without the pitch darkness and trembling earth, to have one’s eyes riveted on the dying Jesus all that time sent tremors throughout his own soul. This was an encounter with Jesus like no other man would ever have.
No doubt, when rumors that Jesus was alive again shot through the bastions of power three days later, while others shrugged it off, this soldier stopped dead in his tracks. Translated back to The Skull, he was again transfixed on the disfigured face of Jesus on the cross. In his mind, those swollen eyes suddenly popped opened and looked straight at him, piercing his heart as did the spear he ordered thrust into his side.
After swallowing hard, the officer’s face then began to radiate, a smile formed, and his eyes filled with tears as he looked up at the same angle that he did at the cross. Unbeknownst to all around him, his journey with the Christ began at that moment.
[The above is a dramatization of what we all hoped happened!]