Session 3

The Guards Who Saw Jesus Crucified

From Journey To Change

There were many spectators at Jesus' crucifixion, but none were as unlikely to be changed by that event as the Roman soldiers.

These military men were the type of people whose lives were immersed in violence. They’d seen countless criminals beaten, tortured, and crucified just as Jesus was. To them, He was simply another criminal who deserved to die. But that day, they realized He was different.

These Roman soldiers were probably some of the same men who earlier mocked Jesus. Instead of fighting back or condemning them, Jesus prayed for His persecutors: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Jesus chose to love instead of retaliating.

When God gets involved in our lives, we are forced to make a decision: What will we do with Jesus?

We don’t know what became of those soldiers or if their lives changed after that moment. But we do know they faced a decision that day. They had to decide what to do with Jesus, and they admitted, “Surely He was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54).

The soldiers' story reminds us that Jesus interrupts our routines and changes our minds. In the midst of performing their jobs as torturers and guards, Jesus’ presence affected them. When God gets involved in our lives, we are forced to make a decision: What will we do with Jesus?


  • Who in your life would you consider unlikely to believe in Jesus? Will you pray for that person now?
  • How has God gotten involved in your life? When have you sensed His presence with you?
  • How has Jesus changed your mind? 

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