God’s forgiveness is SO amazing, so beyond our human understanding.
Consider this: when Jesus Christ died on the cross, He prayed forgiveness for the men who crucified Him. But He wasn’t just saying words. The forgiveness He asked for actually came to fruition, right then and there. How do we know?
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!’
The centurion was the top guy, the Roman officer in charge of the crucifixions. A gruesome task, to be sure – but he was probably hardened to the sight of blood and death. His ears were closed to the cries of the dying, his eyes shut to their agony.
He stood there, with his soldiers, at the foot of the cross. He watched Jesus struggle physically, as blood and water poured out Him, dehydrating and torturing His body. He watched Jesus struggle spiritually, as He agonized through the piercing separation from His Father, becoming estranged from His very self.
The centurion stood there already hardened to death’s dark force, yet as the earth quaked and the sky grew dark, his eyes were opened to Christ’s deity and innocence. He realized the purity of the Lamb they were slaying, the intertwining of God and man in this one person.
And he cried out the truth, that Christ was truly God – the truth that had led to Christ’s crucifixion, truth that the Roman leaders considered blasphemy.
And God forgave him! This man, who probably helped execute God’s only begotten Son. This man, who probably shrugged his shoulders at the thought of one more crucifixion that day. He believed on Jesus, and was forgiven. Completely.
What amazing grace! What unconditional mercy!
What incomprehensible forgiveness!