Day 7 - The Soldier

The Voice of the Soldier

The Roman imperial beast towered over parts of three continents. Rome crushed and tore her insubordinates with a legion composed of 60 platoons grouped into cohorts. The local faces of the Roman beast’s claws were often centurions. This “lifer” soldier saw the conditions on the ground and imposed Rome’s will on that ground. The tribunes and aristocrats might live in ignorance of local desperation—only because the centurions met reality for their superiors and often kept them insulated. The centurion couldn’t be naïve.

At least one of these centurions managed the crucifixions on Good Friday.

The swell of Jerusalem’s pilgrim population for the Feast raised the centurion’s readiness. The Jews took a day to prepare for their Feast, but this year that preparation included a mob demanding that Jesus be executed like an enemy of Rome. The centurion’s platoon executed their orders from the governor. Some of the mob followed the convicts outside Jerusalem to taunt or to stare. Hoisting three crosses lowered the threat level, as it always did. Who would confront the Empire’s claws?

After some hours, the sun went dark. The centurion kept his soldiers at their posts. Spiritual powers above Rome warred, unseen but felt. The earth quaked from the onslaught. Later reports came: tombs outside Jerusalem released their dead; the temple of the Jews’ suffered structural damage. 

At center, a crucified Jesus of Nazareth endured public disgrace with honor. This common Roman soldier found himself at Golgotha, surveying all that was occurring.  Surely, this man was righteous. The world, seen and unseen, reacted to him. Who can doubt that this is the son of God? 

With no hype, no religious bias, just the real world he knew– a centurion faced Jesus on the cross. He took in the details. He saw and was changed. He glorified God (Luke 23:47).

Read and Meditate on this passage
Psalms 65
Devo Day 7
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