Truly this Man was the Son of God!
And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” -Mark 15:37-39
Jesus hangs on a cross – crowned in thorns, bruised and bloodied from the beatings and the nails through his flesh that pin him to the wooden structure. The night before, he was betrayed by his own and turned over to the authorities. On this morning, the decision was made that he would be crucified for who he claimed to be: the Christ, the coming Messiah whom the prophets had spoken of. This was the very Son of God.
How can we call this ‘Good Friday’ when it’s the day that this sinister killing of the King of kings took place? This Son of God, through whom all things were created, came to earth and lived a sinless life. He would die a criminal’s death. The only way we can see the good in this is by viewing it through the lens of God’s ultimate redemptive plan to unite all things in Christ. On the cross, Jesus would bear the punishment for the sin of all who believe in him.
God is holy and just. Man is sinful and incapable of upholding God’s law to be made righteous before him by our own doing. The wages of sin is death and all sin must be accounted for before a holy and just God. Unless we recognize the weight of our sin against God, we cannot fully experience the marvelous beauty of this loving act of grace towards us who follow Jesus.
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. – Romans 8: 3-4
Our savior bore the full wrath of God in our place and experienced that punishing separation as he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” And it is to him and his atoning work that the scriptures point. The Passover lamb has been slain and saved are those covered by his blood! The curtain that separated man from God’s holy presence is torn in two as we can now enter in free from the bondage of sin! Only because of Christ.
As the centurion stands before our dying Lord and sees the almighty God’s plan falling into place, he can say only one thing: “Truly this man was the son of God!”
This was not just another sacrifice. We wouldn’t see it as good if it ended there. The serpent had bruised his heel, but he would soon crush the serpent’s head. This is Good Friday, and Sunday is coming.
Prayerfully allow yourself to wrestle with the tension between the heartache from what our Savior went through and the beauty of what he accomplished on this day.
Lord, thank you for your grace poured out on me at the cross. Strengthen me, that I may walk by faith in your Son and be a light to the world.