Jesus was condemned to die by crucifixion and the event drew large crowds of people who came to witness the execution. Many were happy to see Jesus punished, while others wept and disagreed with the way Jesus was being treated.
At one point during the crucifixion, the guards stripped Jesus of his robe and began to draw lots to see who could walk away with the so-called prophet’s only possession. The guard who won eventually realized that Jesus was innocent and felt remorse after his death.
Years later, the guard sought out Jesus' earthly mother and gave her the robe which he had won that day. He explained he was an eyewitness to the crucifixion and explained how Jesus had changed his life that day.
How do you think the Roman soldiers who witnessed the darkness, earthquake, rocks splitting and the death of Jesus felt after these events?
What do you think happened to the soldiers who said, “Surely he was the Son of God?”
Do you think any of the Roman soldiers became believers in Jesus because of what they saw?
What do you think the Roman soldiers thought three days later when it was reported that Jesus raised up from the dead?
This story basically follows Matthew 27:11-55. No additional points were included from parallel stories in Mark 15:1-41; Luke 22:54-23:49; and John 18:28-19:37.
Because of the short length of this book, many important events during the death of Jesus were left out of this story.
Though this story deals with a horrible act of cruelty and punishment, the death of Jesus is central to Christianity and therefore gently dealt with here to introduce the basic truth from the view of the Roman soldiers who guarded him.