by Kathy Matuschka
Click here to download your printable verse to carry with you today.
And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’ (Mark 15:39)
Read Mark 15:33–39
The words, ‘it is finished’, appear in John’s Gospel but not in our reading today from the Gospel of Mark. Mark gets the message across in other ways: through the darkness that covers the land, Jesus expressing a sense of being forsaken by God, Jesus crying loudly as he takes his last breath, and the temple curtain being torn in two. We get the picture that something of supernatural significance is occurring. Unprecedented things are happening.
These unprecedented things include a Roman centurion confessing, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God’. I doubt the centurion predicted this outcome when he was assigned to keep order at a crucifixion that day!
The shouts and taunts of the crowd have ceased – the darkness has stolen their confidence. But in the darkness and the desolation, a single voice – one who shouldn’t be announcing it because it questions loyalty to the Roman emperor – proclaims what just happened.
What new things is God revealing to you in your darkness? Who is God using to reveal these things to you? It is Jesus’ way to use the person we least expect – the person who offends us, the person who doesn’t seem smart enough, the person who is so ‘not like us’ – to direct our attention to the things that really matter.
Dear Jesus, you continue to surprise me with the way things work in your upside-down kingdom. Through your Holy Spirit, open my heart and mind to notice new surprises every day of my life … until one day, you completely take my breath away in my heavenly home. Amen.
Kathy Matuschka serves within the LCA Queensland District as Assistant Director for Mission. Kathy and her husband Mark have three wonderful adult children, one lovely son-in-law and another officially joining the family next month.