The centurion had marched onto battle fields, and had a hand in the slaughter and execution of countless men. He was a man familiar with death, a conqueror. He knew what it meant to be victorious, and he knew that there was no victory in dying.
Yet as he gazed on the lifeless body of Jesus of Nazareth, he saw something miraculous: the Righteous One. On the cross, this broken and bleeding man had somehow won a victory. It made no sense, yet it was true. By dying, Jesus showed the world who he really was, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Jesus on the cross makes us uncomfortable. We want buddy Jesus, not bloody Jesus. But if we will not know Jesus on the cross, we will not know Jesus at all. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. Without the crucifixion, there is no resurrection. Without death, there will be no life.
1 Corinthians 1 calls the cross of Jesus Christ a stumbling block, and it is. It is impossible for us to grasp the full significance, the full reality, of Jesus’ crucifixion. But we must come to the cross of Christ, stumbling as we do; we must accept Jesus as the Savior who died, otherwise we can have no part in him.
What is standing between you and the salvation of Jesus Christ offered at the cross? Do you accept his death as the atoning sacrifice for your sins?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when all expectations were stripped away and you hung, broken and bloody, on the cross, you showed us your great love. Forgive my sins, and help me to love you.