For three hours there was darkness in the land. The light of the sun went away as if in mourning; As in a sign of protest against the events taking place. Darkness appeared as if rejoicing; As if in triumph and readiness to take over the land. The land shook and trembled. It did not stay quiet but loudly made its reproach known. The sky cried and shot lighting upon the darkness and all those who were present were full of fear and wonder.
I was there on that day. I will tell you of what I saw and experienced. I will also relay what happened after He died and who took his body away. This was the day the temple was destroyed. This was the day He died and I lived! It was also the day you had a chance to live as well!
I was the Centurion who was in charge of the crucifixion. I stood still as the land roared. At that moment, my mind was racing as I could see before my eyes the scenes that had transcribed in the past few days. I had previously thought that the uproar caused by the Jews over this man would certainly be finished here. Certainly once He was gone, things would go back to normal.
Being a Roman soldier; A Centurion, I had under my charge one hundred soldiers. This had not been my first crucifixion. Rome was accustomed to use crucifixion as a way to instill fear in those under their control. From all the crucifixions I was aware of, never had there been any supernatural ramifications over any of their deaths. His death was definitely not of a common man.
Nothing had been common from the beginning, but I wasn’t overly thinking. I was performing my job of making sure that this man and the two thieves would receive their sentence as ordered. I and my soldiers placed Him on the cross and my job was about finished. He cried out loud “Father, into Your hands I command My Spirit” and He breathed his last breath.
I was terrified. Me, a Roman soldier, terrified! The darkness, the earthquake, the tearing of the temple curtains; They were split in two from top to bottom, the cracking and sounds of tombs being open, the splitting of the rocks, the feeling of dread and upcoming doom. It wasn’t just an outward threat but an indescribable inner tear.
I wasn’t the only one having these feelings, for most of the people there were in disbelief of what they were experiencing. They were beating their breasts as an expression of anguish, as a sign of an inexplicable feeling of grief. It seemed like a sharp stab and death within the soul.
As I ponder upon these scenes, I couldn’t avoid the following questions: What was the meaning of this? Who was this Man? There was only one answer. I began praising God and asking for forgiveness. Certainly this man was innocent! Certainly He was the son of the living God!
After He had died, a man named Joseph who was a good and righteous man, asked Pilate for His body. He was a member of the council but he had taken no part in The Lord’s crucifixion. He was from Arimathea; A city of the Jews. This man knew the Scriptures and was waiting for the Kingdom of God.
Joseph was a rich man and had become a disciple of His. He had a tomb that had never been in use. Typically, a tomb could be used for more than one person but this one was cut into a rock and had never been used. Joseph wrapped the body with a linen cloth and laid it in the tomb for the Sabbath was about to begin.
There were some women who were also following the body of Jesus and upon noticing how it was placed in the tomb, they went home to prepare spices and perfumes with the idea of coming back after the Sabbath to properly anoint his body.
As I spoke to others who believed in Him, I was made aware that on this day, Jesus had paid a price for my sins. He paid for the sins of the world. The temple was torn in two as a symbol that we were not bound to worship only there but as we receive Christ, we have now become the temple of the living God.
The following conversation the Lord Jesus had with the Samaritan woman explains what I am relating to you. John 4:19-22 says: “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
1st Corinthians 3:16 also says: “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
1st Corinthians 6:19-20 also says: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.