Raise your hand if you’ve ever been told that you’re crazy to follow Jesus in this day and age? Raise them high! Yep, me too 🙂
Americans preach and teach inclusion, diversity and free worship. We should be treated equal no matter the race, age, sexuality or belief system. Yes, I believe that to be true! God did give us the freedom to be who we want to be. However, it’s not as easy as it seems…
Churches are being bombed. Innocent people are still losing their lives. Tragedies and sufferings are happening to us and our friends and family. God in the form of man is still being idolized.
That being said, why would you want to follow Jesus, when your life is turned upside down, and chaos all around? Crazy! Right?
If YOU think it’s hard for you, let’s take a look at the Centurion soldier who was crazy enough to follow Jesus when it wasn’t such a good idea…
What was the role of the Centurion Roman Military Soldier?
According to Britannica, the Centurion was, the principal professional officer in the armies of ancient Rome and its empire. The centurion was the commander of a centuria, which was the smallest unit of a Roman legion. A legion was nominally composed of 6,000 soldiers, and each legion was divided up into 10 cohorts, with each cohort containing 6 centuria. The centurion thus nominally commanded about 100 men, and there were 60 centurions in a legion.
The centurions in a legion were arranged in a complicated order of rank, with variations in authority and responsibility from top to bottom. There was little actual difference in status between most of these centurion ranks, however, with the exception of the first-ranking centurion of the first-ranking cohort; this officer, the primus pilus, participated in councils of war with the military tribunes and the legion commander. Most centurions were of plebeian origin and were promoted from the ranks of the common soldiers. They formed the backbone of the legion and were responsible for enforcing discipline. They received much higher pay and a greater share of the spoils than did common soldiers.
As you can see, these soldiers held their allegiance to the Roman Empire. The Romans believed in worshipping Baal, which was a man-made idol. They couldn’t believe in a imaginary “God” who the Jews chose to believe in or a man claiming to be “The Son of God”, or they would surely be killed. Their job was to uphold the Roman laws!
Well, here comes this Centurion soldier, who was crazy enough to believe! So, what happened that day when Jesus died on that cross for him to change his mind? Let’s look at God’s word…
The Death of Jesus (Matthew 27:45-54)
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness(BA) came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[d](BB)
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar,(BC) put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.(BD)
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple(BE) was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split(BF) 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city(BG) and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced(AU) Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.(AV)35 The man who saw it(AW) has given testimony, and his testimony is true.(AX) He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled:(AY) “Not one of his bones will be broken,” (John 19:33-36)
This non-believing man, was taught his entire life to believe in a Roman god-man or a man-made idol (who he could see) to now believe in a God the Jews worshipped and couldn’t see! Wow! Was he crazy? Yes, I believe so!
Thank God he was! God chose this Centurion man, an unbeliever, to experience something so miraculous, crazy and life changing that he couldn’t deny it anymore. 🙂 He and his team had to exclaim that Jesus was the Son of God!
Why you’re crazy to follow Jesus today
It’s still crazy to follow Jesus today, just as it was crazy for the Centurion soldier to start following Jesus (as a Christian) back then. I can only imagine when this man started believing and sharing this truth with his family and friends that they wanted to stone or crucify him! They had to immediately think he had gone mad.
I can also imagine God using him to testify to his people about what he witnessed and felt within his heart. It was the truth of the cross!
You have to realize that God’s people (the Jews) denied him. They killed Jesus due to their disbelief and because of this, God decided to offer his eternal love, grace and life to everyone! Thank God, that now includes you and me.
If you are an unbeliever reading this, just know that God has you reading this for a reason. You may be on the fence about it. You might not want to believe in a God who you can’t see or touch. Or you may not be ready to surrender your life and will to Him. It’s ok! God knows and He still wants you as you are, so if you take one step, He’ll take two, I promise
If you are a believer reading this, yes you are crazy! You have chosen to follow Jesus, who is your Lord and Savior, in a world that doesn’t understand why. They are taking Jesus out of everything you do and say. Even the mention of Jesus offends multitudes, however, His will for your life is far better than your own!
Just remember, it’s our job to convince non-believers that it’s ok to be a bit different. Truthfully, it’s hard and life changing, but the best decision ever made. As you know, we are to live in this world – but not be of this world, so continue to do the right thing. Amen
God uses all of us as testimonials for one another. He started at the cross and is working his way around saving us, until He returns again! I believe the Centurion soldier made the right sacrificial choice back then, however, it was definitely a crazy move…
Are you a non-believer on the fence? Tell us why in the comments?
Are you a believer who lives this crazy life? Tell us why in the comments?