The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man." Luke 23:47
As presented on *The Lutheran Hour® by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, February 15, 1959.
If there had been communications in the first century of our era like those of the present time, the newspapers and broadcasts in Jerusalem and Palestine would have been full of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. He was a public figure. What is more, He was a highly controversial public figure. The triple execution near the busy Jerusalem road, which attracted a large crowd of spectators and was attended by circumstances of an unusual nature, would certainly not have been overlooked in the news.
One reporter might have said: “There was a judicial lynching yesterday on Golgotha. The popular Galilean rabbi was crucified because He dared to defy the vested interests of our time, and the part the Romans played in this proceeding was just as despicable as that of the temple authorities.” The ordinary man might have commented: “You can’t beat that crowd at City Hall.”
Another editorial writer might have seen it differently: “Yesterday, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, nipped a serious revolution in the bud by executing an inflammatory rabbi who claimed to be the Messiah.”
Today we are still asking, just what did happen on that cross? What is the meaning of the life, suffering, and death of Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth? We do not know everything about that cross and its meaning, but we can see its jagged edge protruding into human history. We know that when we look at the face of Christ veiled in tragedy, the very face of God is there.
O Lord our God, wonderful in glory and great in forgiveness, cleanse us from our sins and from every word and work displeasing to You. Sustain us by Your grace. Amen.
Taken from A Message of Hope: Proclaiming the Cross (selections from messages broadcast on *The Lutheran Hour, celebrating 75 years of proclaiming the promise).
Copyright © 2006 by Lutheran Hour Ministries
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