Will The Cross Open Wide Our Eyes Too? The Centurion’s Unexpected Confession: His Declaration Of Jesus’ Innocence. Luke 23:44-49

Luke 23:44-49 Amplified Bible

44 It was now about the sixth hour (noon), and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.), 45 because the sun was [a]obscured; and the veil [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was [b]torn in two [from top to bottom]. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!” Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he began praising and honoring God, saying, “Certainly this Man was innocent.” 48 All the crowds who had gathered for this spectacle, when they saw what had happened, began to return [to their homes], beating their breasts [as a sign of mourning or repentance]. 49 And all His acquaintances and the women who had accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, watching these things.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

It was to become the Greatest Injustice in the History of Mankind.

As Prophesied by Jesus Himself three times to His Disciples.

Betrayed, Falsely Accused, a Bevy of False Witness testified against him.

A Kangaroo Court held in the darkest of street corners, behind locked doors.

By His own people who once declared the triumph of his life and ministry.

Pilate Himself declared his innocence, tried everything to release him alive.

But Jesus’ own people would have none of it – Crucify! Crucify! Crucify!

Beaten and Scourged and Humiliated to almost beyond recognition.

Forced to carry his own means of death.

Both Hands and Both Feet Nailed to the Cross in the most painful of ways.

Raised up for all the great gathered crowds to bear their ugliest witness to.

Ceaseless, Unrelenting Mockery and Scorn shouted and heard far and wide.

Finally, more quieted and Hushed Words are uttered and heard but by a few.

“I am Thirsty.”

“Father, Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

“It is Finished.”

“Father, into Your hands I Commend My Spirit.”

And finally, all the words come to their ends, Jesus is dead …

But into this moment when all else is suddenly hushed …

But the hushed flow of words continues from unexpected sources …

Luke 23:47 Amplified Bible

47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he began praising and honoring God, saying, “Certainly this Man was innocent.”

Who else had heard these words spoken by the Centurion, the man with the authority to command and lead others to do his bidding, the man under the even greater authority of Pilate, under ultimate authority of his Emperor.

Yes, who else heard these hushed words of the Centurion …

Luke 23:48 Amplified Bible

48 All the crowds who had gathered for this spectacle, when they saw what had happened, began to return [to their homes], beating their breasts [as a sign of mourning or repentance].

The Word of God for His Children was undoubtedly rare and and far rarer still were the Words of God for His Children to remain hush, unspoken in those days.

Now, it is two thousand some odd number of years later and we “hear” again.

Through the Word of God for His Children and Song we remembered the scene.

Good Friday has passed us by, we have returned to the comfort of our homes.

To quietly await the quiet and hushed arrival of the sunrise on Easter Morning.

In that between time, on that day of whatever comes rushing to your mind – perhaps the final rush of housework, shopping and meal preparation for the final assembly of family and friends and perhaps even your neighbors too …

Question: What happens in your heart when you think of Jesus on the cross?

Probably not too much because like most you are waiting for the Preacher to lead the morning worship and Preach their messages on Sunday morning.

A day meant for personal reflection, perhaps family devotionals is what …?

Perhaps, if you are like me and perhaps a few others who went home “beating their breasts in hushed acts of confession and reflection and repentance, it is a time of inviting the Holy Spirit to intercede into your all too hushed moments.

I guess it is too hard to spend any extra time with God (Matthew 6:6-7) to try to imagine the indescribable, immeasurable depths of injustice on Good Friday.

His suffering is especially hard to imagine during this season of the year when we are still perhaps remembering his Advent and thinking about his birth too.

Our hearts are filled with emotion – the joy, and triumph and the Glory of God, the single greatest act of God’s love and God’s Justice of all time. (John 3:16-17)

The hearts of those who witnessed the Lord’s suffering were filled with all sorts of emotions, too.

Like the Centurion’s, Does The Cross Opens Our Eyes?

Luke 23:47 Amplified Bible

47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he began praising and honoring God, saying, “Certainly this Man was innocent.”

The seasoned Roman officer handling the execution praised God and knew this man Jesus was not guilty of any crime.

The crowd went home with deep sorrow.

John and Jesus’ mother Mary and a few others stood by the Cross …

John 19:25-27 Amplified Bible

25 So the soldiers did these things.

But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, His mother’s sister [[a]Salome], [b]Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 So Jesus, seeing His mother, and the [c]disciple whom He loved (esteemed) standing near, said to His mother, “[Dear] woman, look, [here is] your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple (John), “Look! [here is] your mother [protect and provide for her]!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

Most of Jesus’ friends went home in repentance or watched from a distance.

We have all of these “reactions from the ground as they look up at the Cross.”

What are we to make of them still today – in these 21st century times, seasons?

We have not understood, indeed we cannot understand the implications of the the harshness, yet also the beauty of cross unless it has changed us personally.

After Jesus “breathed his last” (Luke 23:46), Luke records for us the reactions of those who witnessed the crucifixion.

“All the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts” (v 48).

Yes, there was sadness, but once the spectacle was over, they left to get on with their lives.

Verse 49 then informs us “all his acquaintances … stood at a distance watching” —and we can barely even imagine what was running through all of their minds.

But the most striking and the most personal reaction that Luke captures is that of the Roman centurion, who, seeing what had happened, “praised God, saying, ‘Certainly this man was innocent!’”—or, as the NIV renders it, “Surely this was a righteous man.”

Here, amid the darkness of hypocritical religious leaders, cynical rulers, and callous passersby, the hushed whispers of lingerers, is a tiny glimmer of light.

Perhaps the very last person we would expect to see the truth—a man with no previous connection to Jesus, no background in Old Testament studies, and no predisposition to the things of God, just utterly obeying his Roman bosses—not only grasped what he looked at, but he immediately responded personally to it.

He saw

“what had taken place”—the words of Jesus, the darkness overhead, the manner of His death—and realized, 

Here is no ordinary man. Here is a man who is different from every other man. Here is a man who is entirely innocent, wholly righteous. 

Indeed, the Gospel narrative of Mark adds that the centurion confessed that the man on the cross was undoubtedly none other but “the Son of God” (Mark 15:39).

With his incredible and trained eye for detail, Luke places a clear emphasis on giving his readers a “from the ground up” seeing what took place on the cross.

He probably hoped that some readers would remember that when Jesus had read from the scroll of Isaiah earlier in His ministry, He had said, “The Spirit of the Lord … has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor … to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind” (Luke 4:18).

Indeed, a great theme found throughout the Gospel of Luke is that of darkness being invaded by light—the confusion and hardness of the people’s hearts and their minds being subsequently invaded by the liberating power of God’s truth.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 Amplified Bible

The Wisdom of God

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God’s grace] it is [the manifestation of] the power of God. 19 For it is written and forever remains written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise [the philosophy of the philosophers],
And the cleverness of the clever [who do not know Me] I will nullify.”

20 Where is the wise man (philosopher)? Where is the scribe (scholar)? Where is the debater (logician, orator) of this age? Has God not exposed the foolishness of this world’s wisdom? 21 For since the world through all its [earthly] wisdom failed to recognize God, God in His wisdom was well-pleased through the [a] foolishness of the message preached [regarding salvation] to save those who believe [in Christ and welcome Him as Savior]. 22 For Jews demand signs (attesting miracles), and Greeks pursue [worldly] wisdom and philosophy, 23  but we preach Christ crucified, [a message which is] to Jews a stumbling block [that provokes their opposition], and to Gentiles foolishness [just utter nonsense], 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25  [This is] because the foolishness of God [is not foolishness at all and] is wiser than men [far beyond human comprehension], and the weakness of God is stronger than men [far beyond the limits of human effort].

Any attempt to articulate Christianity that denies the absolute centrality of the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the Cross can never lead to saving faith.

And while we do not always understand how the Spirit moves in leading men and women to be born again, our message must always and ever be the same:

“But We Preach Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23).

It is beholding the cross that brings life for anyone who responds to the man who hung there by confessing who He is and praising God for His saving work.

Unless and until the “goodness” of the cross is personal to us, it is essentially to be considered as utterly useless for us.

So, when was the last time you simply looked UP at your Savior on the cross and just walked away?

Or, when was the last time you looked DOWN at your Savior on the cross and up, just walked away into whatever else is about to rush into your hushed mind?

So, when was the last time you simply looked UP at your Savior on the cross and spent the intervening time waiting for the Easter moment and just praised God?

Which one best describes your reaction?

Don’t you find it even minimally amazing that probably the least commendable, the most hushed, the least exemplary response was that from Jesus’ friends?

In these intervening times and seasons, let’s not be just observers of the cross, but rather a people deeply sorrowed by our sins which took Jesus to OUR cross.

However, in our sorrow, let’s make sure we don’t let grief consume us.

Instead, let’s praise God for his grace and the salvation he has provided for us.

Then, rather than walking away, having been hushed by the moment, going into hiding like the fearful friends of Jesus (John 20:19),

Let’s maybe share the confession of the Centurion, and the grace of God with;

O’ Come All Ye Faithful …

Adeste Fidelis …

O’ Come Let Us Adore Him …

Venite Adoremus …

Joyful and Triumphant …

Laeti Triumphantes,

To the King of the Angels …

Regem Angelorum …

To Christ the Lord!



In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Psalm 24 The Message

24 1-2 God claims Earth and everything in it,
    God claims World and all who live on it.
He built it on Ocean foundations,
    laid it out on River girders.

3-4 Who can climb Mount God?
    Who can scale the holy north-face?
Only the clean-handed,
    only the pure-hearted;
Men who won’t cheat,
    women who won’t seduce.

5-6 God is at their side;
    with God’s help they make it.
This, Jacob, is what happens
    to God-seekers, God-questers.

Wake up, you sleepyhead city!
Wake up, you sleepyhead people!
    King-Glory is ready to enter.

Who is this King-Glory?
    God, armed
    and battle-ready.

Wake up, you sleepyhead city!
Wake up, you sleepyhead people!
    King-Glory is ready to enter.

10 Who is this King-Glory?
    he is King-Glory.

Holy and Almighty God, Author of my Life, Perfecter of my Faith, my heart breaks that Jesus had to die as a sacrifice for sin … especially my sin. However, I praise you for your plan of grace, for your desire to provide mercy at the expense of your own heartbreak, and for your overwhelming love for people like me. In Jesus’ name.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Laeti Triumphantes, Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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