He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. Matthew 27:42
The Witness of Salvation
Written by Michael Herbert
There Jesus was, suspended between Heaven and Hell. Between God’s wrath and unregenerate mankind, the final chapter in Jesus coming to earth was about to end. There Jesus was hanging as the ignorant crowd looked on hurling insult after insult. Although the crowds did not understand the purpose of the cross in their remarks, yet they were condemning themselves by their own remarks. How so, you may ask? In our verse he saved others. The unsaved world looked on and pointed out that Jesus was in the saving business. They too could have known the saving power of Jesus by their own remarks but failed to cross the religious barriers that would have to lead them to freedom. As Jesus hung on the cross the crowd spoke prophetically by starting he saved others. Philippines 2:10 states That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; There will be those who will bow the knee in our generation and declare Jesus saved others. The witness of friends, family, and others who testify of this truth, but as for themselves, they will be like the crowd who knew the answer but failed to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.
The Roman guards were trained to be merciless, not to have compassion, but to simply do their job. In the sight of Jesus on the cross they could not hide their true reaction but to say Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. Matthew 27:54 The witness of Jesus to the unsaved world was priceless. Perhaps how he heard how Jesus healed the centurion’s daughter. Maybe all the miracles he performed came streaming memories in the guards mind. It is all speculative but who knows. Perhaps he might have been saved.
All his life he might have wondered what the stirring in his heart for a greater spiritual desire that wasn’t being met with false idols. The witness of open graves and a vail torn in two demonstrated power beyond reason that there was a true God with true power to accomplish all things.. The guards could not casually look on as if nothing was happening. The correct response that was revealed from heaven was “Truly this was the Son of God.”