Awakening Happens at the Cross

Mark 15:39
By: Otis James Latin Jr., Lead Pastor/Church Planter, Revive Bible Church:

May 27, 2019

Awakening is defined as an act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something. Awakening often results in people feeling they have gained the ability to adequately view situations from the proper perspective. In other words, they have a deeper perception of reality or a keener sense of consciousness. For example, “awakening” provides a person with the impression they are observing circumstances in three dimensions rather than two, or in color rather than in black and white.

In a biblical context, “awakening” refers to the authentic works of the Holy Spirit that cannot be coerced or brought about through emotional manipulation. Therefore, awakening as it pertains to the bible is normally referred to as “spiritual awakening”. True spiritual awakening happens by a new birth which does not occur by some physical, mental, or emotional process but by the power of the Holy Spirit. This fact is clearly stated in Gospel of John. “Jesus answered, Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) In other words, Christ’s kingdom can only be entered by those whose lives have been changed. Therefore, “spiritual awakening” is always associated with who Jesus is and what Jesus did. As a result, “spiritual awakening” happens at the cross of Christ.

In Mark 15:39, the centurion is a Roman military officer in command of a detachment of one hundred soldiers. He oversaw Jesus crucifixion and no doubt witnessed Jesus brutal scourging, the crown of thorns placed on his head, and the soldiers mocking him as King of the Jews. At the execution site, the centurion observed as his soldiers nailed Jesus’ hands and feet to the cross then cast lots for His clothing while a hostile crowd insulted and taunted Christ. For six hours, the centurion had dutifully kept watch over Jesus and the two thieves crucified with Him. The centurion was standing in front of Christ the entire time, so he heard the words spoken by Christ from the cross. He watched Christ while being humiliated and ridiculed by His enemies, then ask the Father to forgive them. He heard Christ tell one of the thieves “Today you will be with me in paradise.” He witnessed Christ cry out in a loud voice “Father, into my hands I entrust my spirit.” The centurion had participated in numerous executions but this one was completely different. He had never encountered anyone like Jesus who suffered with dignity and died with authority. After observing Jesus entire crucifixion and watching Jesus take his last breath, the centurion has a “spiritual awakening” and says, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

Prayer

Lord many people are lost and seeking to satisfy their thirst with water from broken cisterns, rather than drinking deeply of the water of life that comes from you alone. Lord, birth in our hearts a desire to be used by you to bring about revival and spiritual awakening beginning in Houston and extending to every corner of the world. Lead us to the foot of the cross then awaken us out of darkness and bring us into your marvelous light. Revive us lord and turn the hearts of the people back to you, in Jesus name we pray. Amen