Matthew 27:54—Passion (Palm) Sunday

“Truly This Was the Son of God!”

When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54)

What was it that gave it away for this Centurion, this Roman soldier? How did he come to know that Jesus was the Son of God? This question that arises out of the Gospel of Matthew is really the mystery of the ages. It combines the two great gifts and mysteries of the Christian Church: that God became the man, and that God died on the cross for our salvation.

“Truly this was the Son of God.”

So what was it? Was it the thunder and lightening? Was it the temple veil being ripped in two? Was it the dead rising from their graves and going about in the city? What was it that proved to this Roman soldier that Jesus was the Son of God?

St. Paul pondered this question in the first hymn of the Christian Church, found in Philippians chapter 2. Hear a part of it again:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11) Continue reading