Mark 15:39 Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
This moment became the pinnacle of Mark’s gospel. His opening statement was, “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” The entire gospel led to this pronouncement by a Roman soldier — a gentile — for all the world to understand that Jesus was the Son of God!
It’s the way in which Jesus dies that confounds this soldier. When Jesus breathed out is last, the soldier was amazed. This wasn’t how people died of crucifixion; it should have been a slow death, usually after the person was unconscious. Jesus stayed awake until the end and then had the strength to cry out at his last breath. Astounded the soldier recognizes that this is no ordinary man and confesses what the jewish religious leaders should have seen all along.
Roman culture had their own understanding of what it meant to be a “son of god.” Julius C…