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Day 45 — Cross
I tried and tried to find a specific picture for this post. When I think of the Cross I always picture the scene from the movie Jesus of Nazareth (with Robert Powell) where Ernest Borgnine is a Roman Centurion standing, looking up at Jesus and saying: “Surely this was the Son of God.” Couldn’t find it on here anywhere. This picture of Powell, however, is from that scene of the crucifixion. His portrayal of Jesus is my favorite of all the movies I’ve seen of Jesus’ life.
But there is something about the Centurion and Jesus that touches me so deeply. Maybe it’s because I believe they had a “history,” if you will. The Bible tells of a Centurion who came to Jesus asking him to heal his servant. The Centurion’s faith was so great he told Jesus he needn’t go to his house, it was enough that Jesus just say the word and the servant would be healed. Jesus turned to those around and exclaimed he’d never seen such great faith.
Later, as Jesus is being crucified, the Bible again talks of a Centurion who was there at the foot of he cross.
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)
I have read those two accounts over and over again through the years, and I’m convinced it was the same Centurion. Apparently so were the producers of this movie as that is how the Centurion was portrayed. For years I’ve been fascinated with that Roman who had such great faith. I’ve often wondered how it would be to write a book about that man. He inspires me and makes me wish my faith could be as pure and stalwart as his…
There’s one other thing the word Cross makes me think about. It was my dad’s favorite hymn, and one that was played at both my folks’ funerals. The Old Rugged Cross written by George Bennard. I was raised listening to both my parents sing this song. It will be forever embedded in my heart and soul. Especially the second verse:
Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above,
To bear it to dark Calvary.