Today I pondered before the Lord what it would take for the tough men in my town to believe in Jesus and immediately I was reminded of the Roman Centurion.
So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Mtt 27:54
Luke records in 23:47
So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!” Other versions have a good man or an innocent man or just man.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Those choosing to refuse the mark are in effect choosing to stand with Jesus and He will stand with them to the end.
They are trying to make this refusal about being anti-medicine. But the deeper truth is that this is all about refusing evil and choosing the good….refusing lies and choosing to stand in truth. Those choosing evil and lies are doing so partly through deception–they are being deceived by evil workers….and partly out of fear of losing stuff and rights and so called freedom. Jesus does not condemn them for that. He does not condemn anyone.
He wants all to come to God his Father and the only way is for each to believe in Him
The whole world was against Him—it did not matter. Father was for him.
And that was the other thing that convinced the centurion. Earthquakes and darkness and the curtain tearing and dead being raised and the rocks splitting were all pointing to God’s validation of Jesus. When His saints are tampered with or killed God moves things. Things move. Hearts are moved! The heavens are shaken! The earth quakes!! The dead are raised in their consciousness.
Surely these were good people and we stood by and watched them die! We stood by and watched as they were taken off to prison quarantine camps…..Surely the wrath of God will fall upon us now!?
And so like Jesus we say, Father forgive them!! And we say if this cup can pass from us ….nevertheless your will be done.
We are as lambs led to the slaughter.
And yet…Jesus did say that He could command armies of angels to rescue Him.
Perhaps God shall rescue us at the last hour as He did the 3 young men cast into the burning furnace of fire.
He is able to to deliver us and to preserve us for His heavenly kingdom.
Yet our death whether a literal death or our daily death of walking in His ways instead of the world’s way is a sign and a wonder that touches the hearts of tough men.
They watch and fully know that our decision to refuse will cost us everything. And they are shaken to the core.
Let God be glorified and all the world repent.