WHAT CONVINCED THE CENTURION?
Surrounding His cross were sinners, criminals, soldiers, religious people, family and a few friends.
Two very special people were there that day:
1. A criminal who had come to Calvary to die.
2. The other a Roman Centurion who had come to Calvary that day to put men to death.
We can suppose the thief was compelled to believe, but what convinced the Centurion?
I. (v. 32-33) WAS IT HIS COMPOSURE (Calmness, self-control)?
A. The Bible tells us that Jesus went to the cross to suffer and die as the Lamb of God:
John 1:29 – Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Rev. 13:8 and 1 Pet. 1:18-19.
Isaiah. 53:7 – He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
B. This Centurion had seen countless men die by crucifixion. Most of them were like the two thieves – cursing and screaming
II. (v. 33) WAS IT HIS CROSS?
A. Maybe it was the sign that hung over His cross:
Matthew, writing to the Jews, gives the Hebrew: “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS”
Mark, staying to form, gives quickest/shortest summary of the others: “THE KING OF THE JEWS”
Luke, being highly educations addresses the Greek: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS”
John quotes the Latin: “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS”.
This sign proclaimed Jesus to be the Jewish King, the Messiah.
III. (v. 34, 39-43)
WAS IT HIS COMPASSION (sympathy, kindness)?
A. While Jesus was dying on the cross, He exhibited grace and love and compassion for others
1. He Showed Compassion
a. The crowds mocked Him, ridiculed Him and tormented Him even as He died.
Yet, He did not condemn them. He did not rebuke them. He prayed for them (v. 34)
2. He Showed Compassion To The Criminal – (v. 39-43) –
When this man asked for help concerning his spiritual condition, Jesus showed: grace, love, compassion.
B. Was it this compassion?
IV. (v. 34, 43, 46) WAS IT HIS CRIES?
A. In the Gospels there are seven occasions Jesus opened His mouth and spoke while He was on the cross.
Not all are record in Luke, but the Centurion heard them all!
1. The Cry Of Love – Luke 23:34 – Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.
2. The Cry Of Forgiveness – Luke 23:43 – Assuredly, I say, you will be with me in Paradise
3. The Cry Of Fulfillment – Matt. 27:46 – My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me
4. The Cry Of Provision – John 19:26-27 – (To Mary) Behold thy Son, (to John) Behold thy Mother.
5. The Cry Of Agony – John 19:28 – I thirst!
6. The Cry Of Victory – John 19:30 – It is finished
7. The Cry Of Departure – Luke 23:46 – Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit
B. Surely, these statements from the Lord Jesus moved the heart of this soldier!
In his own words:
Luke 23:47 – Certainly this was a righteous man!
Matthew & Mark– Truly this Man was the Son of God
Are you convinced? Do these things prick your heart?
– Sermon outline by Larry Brashear