After the death of Jesus a certain centurion may have written to another centurion, whose servant had been healed by Jesus and this is what he may have said.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 5min
I don’t believe we have ever met as you are stationed out in the countryside and I am attached to the Jerusalem garrison.
I’m sorry to start this letter with news that will sadden you but I must… Jesus is dead. He was executed recently and I was responsible! To be more accurate, I was the centurion in charge of his execution. Now obviously you will be upset by this news as I understand that you met him and was impressed by his ministry. I was told that he healed your servant.
I am really writing to ask you advice. On the day of his execution it was just another day to me. I had a duty to perform and although I did not particularly enjoy this part of my duties I was determined to do my duty and then go home…
But it didn’t turn out like that. On that day I was changed forever. I casually watched the proceeding at the start of the day, not knowing who the three men were who were to be executed. But I soon noticed one man, whom I later knew as Jesus, was very different from his companions.
The Jews had demanded his execution because they claimed that Jesus had said he was the King of the Jews. As a result of this not only were some of the chief priests and scribes annoyed, but the Roman soldiers were not impressed either by a king of the Jews. The result was that the soldiers cruelly abused Jesus. They stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe and when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” I casually watched this from a distance because I had to be there.
It was only when I noticed the red robe and the fact that they had pulled out the hairs from his beard that I realised how different Jesus was. He never made a sound under the torture and just looked, well I know this sounds strange, but he looked almost serene!
On the way to Golgotha, Jesus was so weak that someone was detailed to carry his cross. As they hammered the nails into him he never made a sound and as they lifted him up on his cross Jesus said words that I shall never forget: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”. How could a man in such agony say that? I know this may sound strange, but I think he loved us – the soldiers that were crucified him, me included.
Now I come to the point of this letter. I confess that I know nothing about religion and never heard any of the teachings of Jesus but one thing I truly believe: “He was a righteous man!” and I have kept the best news until last:
HE IS RISEN! HE IS ALIVE!
Now I want to follow him and his teachings and learn all I can about him. Will you help me? Perhaps we could meet and go together to find Jesus and his disciples.
I look forward to your early reply
A Jerusalem centurion
© Copyright Roger Bulpitt 2020, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.