Luke 23:47 New International Version (NIV)
47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.”
As we see it written in the New Testament, we get a vivid illustration of what a Roman Centurion looked like. They had virtues of bravery, loyalty, character, and prowess in battle. Paul writes about their armor in Ephesians 6.
The role of a centurion was to lead 100 men into battle. Often they would accompany 5,000 men in a Roman Legion. They were expected to lead from the front row in order to show their courage amongst their men.
But the centurion we read about during Christ’s crucifixion had a different duty. He beat men who opposed Roman authority. Often times these men were zealots, murderers, and thieves. His job was to inflict pain and down play any idea of challenging Roman rule.
Yet, hidden in the story, comes a different man. Jesus was none like he had ever met before. This man was handed over by the religious rulers of Jerusalem. Jesus was being called guilty of calling himself the Son of God. They led him to his place of judgement at the place they called The Skull.
This man named, Jesus, showed love and compassion. He did it on the road to the crucifixion, while he was being nailed to the cross, and even when he was hung there, he called to God to forgive them. Then, he died. The earth shook, the sun ceased to shine, and it was in that moment the centurion realized they condemned an innocent man to death. He realized his own sin. That day the centurion went to his knees and worshipped God. He saw his Savior hanging on a cross. He life is hidden in the story. After which I believe he lived a Better Story.
Strength and Courage