And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split...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!” Matthew 27:50-51, 54 (ESV)
Have you ever had what you thought would be an ordinary experience turn out to be a life-altering one? Perhaps you missed a flight and when you were rescheduled, you ended up sitting next to someone who became very important to you. Or maybe your career took you to an event where you learned of a cause that ignited a passion in you. Or perhaps you met and confessed Jesus as Lord when you least expected to, like the Roman centurion who witnessed the crucifixion.
As unbelievable as it seems to us, crucifixion was a normal occurrence for this man. Presiding over the gruesome death of a criminal was all in a day's work for him. But that day, something happened that the centurion had never before witnessed. The very earth groaned at the death of this rabbi from Galilee. We don't know if the centurion had even heard of Jesus before that day at Golgotha. All we know is that He acknowledged Him as Messiah as a result of what he had seen. What is certain is this: no matter how or when a person encounters Jesus, the experience may very well change the course of his or her life.