Matthew 27:54 – Verse of the Day 4/3/14
When Jesus died on the cross, the people of his day did not yet understand what was going on, but the physical creation did. The Bible says that the curtain of the Jewish temple was torn in two, the very foundations of the earth shook, and even tombs opened and the dead walked. Jesus’s death had cosmic consequences.
So what should we learn from this Roman soldier’s response? These events emphasize that Jesus’s death destroyed everything that separated God from those who believe in him – even death itself. While the Jewish leaders responsible for his death did not recognize Jesus for who he was, this Gentile centurion did, and his awed response emphasizes that the covenant promises of God now belong to all who believe, Jew and Gentile.
When you respond to the death of Jesus, do you share the centurion’s awe? Does your familiarity with the story of Jesus tempt you to take it for granted? Spend some time praying, asking God to give you faith like this soldier, remembering the great sacrifice made by the living God on our behalf, and thanking Him for the salvation that is ours in Jesus.