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!”
The Roman soldiers were hardened men who generally had little love for the people whose land they occupied. They made sport of mocking Jesus, even putting a crown of thorns on His head, spitting on Him and striking Him on the head (Matthew 27:29-31). They cruelly scourged Him and nailed Him to a stake.
But throughout the ordeal, the centurion watched Jesus’ unnatural reactions of faith, patience, love and endurance. Perhaps the centurion knew some of Christ’s teachings, or perhaps just hearing the trial or hearing the chief priests mocking Jesus led him to realize Jesus’ followers believed Him to be the Son of God.
Then, with the supernatural darkness for three hours and the earthquake upon Jesus’ death, the centurion was fearful—and convinced. This was not just a man—He truly was the Son of God!