People at the Cross

The Curious People

Whenever there is something special to see on the streets, such as a traffic accident or a parade with music, then many people crowd in to see everything as closely as possible.

Many people also came to Golgotha. They did not want to miss the gruesome spectacle. When they saw Jesus in pain, they shook their heads. Each one told what they knew about Jesus’ deeds. According to them, He should be able to come down from the cross without any problem, and if He did, He would be able to convince foe and friend that He was really the Son of God.

But when none of this happened, which the curious people had been eagerly awaiting, they turned away from Him, bored, and went back to the city of Jerusalem. At home, they ate and went back to work.

Jesus certainly could have come down from the cross, but His love toward us and all of humanity caused Him to go the way His Father had shown Him until the end. Jesus took our punishment upon Himself and died because of our sins. With this, He completed the work of salvation. 

Is it possible that you only want to be an observer at the cross? Jesus has shown you through His death how much God loves you. Accept this love. Thank Him that you can live as a child of God. 

An Admirer

Different groups of people stood at the cross of Jesus. Some came just out of curiosity. Others were happy to finally be rid of Jesus. Still others stood crying at the cross. 

A man, perhaps standing a little off to the side, observed these many people but especially Jesus. He was the centurion who was in charge of the execution. Was he a Roman, or did he belong to another nation within the large Roman Empire? In any case, he had hardly heard anything about Jesus before. Maybe he had heard about Him for the first time from Pilate at His trial. During the sixth hour, when Jesus hung on the cross, he got to know Him. He heard how He prayed for God to forgive His enemies, how He worried about His mother, how he called God His “Father.” He had never executed such a person as this before. After all he experienced in this short time with Jesus, he told himself it was impossible for this person to be a criminal. When Jesus bowed His head and died, the officer called out: “Truly, this Man was the Son of God!”

Did he judge like this out of astonishment, out of admiration? Then his judgment would not have been worth much. But if his words were a confession, then the centurion also belongs to the church of the cross. Then his confession is a question to you whether this Crucified One is your Savior and Lord!

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