Dying Proof

Amy Clemens

Read: Matthew 27:32-54

When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (v. 54)

Rarely could one find a more mixed crowd than at the cross of Jesus. Weeping women, scoffing religious elite, dying thieves, disinterested Roman soldiers, a mocking crowd, a foreigner carrying the cross, and at least one former fisherman.

As the day fades, however, one thief stops his insults and asks Jesus to remember him when he comes into his kingdom (Luke 23:42-43). Jesus comforts his own mother by giving her a protector (John 19:26), the mocking crowd goes home sobered (Luke 23:48), and the Roman centurion and his guard make amazing confessions that Jesus is the Son of God! We often talk about living proof, but the crucifixion provides dying proof that Pilate had indeed ordered the correct sign above his head—“Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews,” in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek, just so no one can miss it (John 19:19-22).

The religious elite are the only ones who seem to leave like they came, full of hatred for this God-man who dared challenge their spiritual superiority. They suggest that if God loves Jesus, he can prove it by delivering him. Ironically, it is because God loves them that Jesus won’t come down before the penalty is fully paid. —Amy Clemens

Prayer: Jesus, thank you that in both life and death, you provide one singular narrative that never changes. You are the Son of God, sent to bring good news to a broken world.