The centurion heard his cry and saw how Jesus died. Mark 15:39. (Mark 15:33-39, Matthew 27:45-56, Luke 23:44-49)
Few like ter dwell on those moments be fer we go ter Davy Jones. Tha way we go out of this life kin be tha hardest thing we do. And yet when tha Son’s time came ter go back ter Skipper, he continued as be fer, doing tha work he be sent ter do. Here be five “miracles” tha Son done from tha cross.
First, he offered fer giveness ter them who put him ter death, who mocked him, who sneered at him. Ah man kin fer give folks of a good many things but often times that fer giveness comes a good while later, after tha pain be gone. Tha Son fer gave in tha midst of tha pain while fellers still be inflicting agony on him. His whar not be a sarcastic prayer fer intercession, but a legitimate plea ter Skipper that these fellers be fergiven. (Luke 23:34)
Second, he offered mercy and more ter tha robber who asked ter be remembered by tha Son. “I tell you the truth,” tha Son said. “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Fer that criminal, fer a feller who sinned his whole life and whar only minutes away from getting shoved off in ter eternal damnation, that whar a HUGE miracle. Why I dare say even all these years later that feller still tells folks ’bout that time tha Son showed him mercy at tha last moment.
Third, he drew one more feller ter him. Tha centurion at tha cross seen how tha Son suffered, heard him speak words of fergiveness not hate, offer mercy not judgement, plea with his Father in heaven and quote from Skipper’s Code of Conduct. When at last tha Son breathed his last and give up his ghost, tha centurion confessed, “Surely this Jesus was the Son of God.” Some years later tha Apostle Paul would write, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.'” (Romans 10:9) That be two fellers, tha robber and tha centurion, who whar rescued from tha depths of hell by tha example tha Son give when went out.
Fourth, he removed tha old way of worshipping and brought us back into fellowship with Skipper. Soon as tha Son breathed his last, tha earth shook, rocks split. In tha Son’s passing, Creation not jest groaned, it growled aloud as a testimony ter tha holy power of tha Son. But tha bigger miracle whar that the temple curtain whar torn in two from top ter bottom. This temple “veil” whar made of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim worked into it by skilled craftsmen. It whar hung be fer the holy of holies by gold hooks on an acacia-wood frame. Behind this veil be tha Holy of Holies and tha ark of the covenant. In tha writing ter tha Hebrews we read, “This ark contained the gold jar of manna [from when God’s people wandered in tha desert fer 40 years], Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.” No one be allowed ter enter tha Holy of Holies except tha High Priest, and even then he would only enter once a year. When tha earth shook, rocks split, and tha curtain veil fell, tha way ter Skipper be opened ter all. It be as if tha Son whar now our Holy Priest and tha way ter tha Father be through his death on the cross fer our sins.
Fifth, tha Son defeated death. Soon as tha Son gave up his ghost, tombs broke open and tha bodies of many holy people whar raised ter life. Why, within a day or so them who whar once dead went in ter tha holy city and appeared ter many folks. On his deathbed, which be an old rugged cross beam, tha Son:
- Fer gave
- Showed mercy
- Drew others ter tha Father
- Restored relationships
- Created new life
May it be that in tha final moments of our life Skipper gives us time, even in our pain, ter fer give, show mercy, draw one more ter tha Father, restore broken relationships, and create new life in those destined fer destruction.