Christ’s CenturionThe inspiration for this drawing came about over a pint of beer - but that's another story.
It was initially planned as a large oil painting; time constraints meant it became a pencil study in diverse textures on a large scale.
(Text taken from a sermon by Rev Jez Safford)
Crucifixions were not jobs for the squeamish. Centurions had to stand watch while men died slowly and painfully on their crosses. They would have become hardened to the experience to survive. BUT Jesus’ death was different. There was something different about Jesus that shook this Centurion. The question is: What was it about Jesus’ death that was different? We read from the bible that the Centurion overheard Jesus say on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Never, ever, would he have heard that before; cursing, crying, screaming innocence maybe, but not that. When the Centurion saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” According to Church tradition, the Centurions name was Longinus. After the crucifixion and burial of Jesus he and his soldiers were present at the Resurrection. Having come to faith in Jesus, the soldiers were baptised by the apostles and decided to leave military service. Longinus left Judea to testify about Jesus in his native land Cappadocia (now modern day Turkey), and his two comrades followed him. Their testimonies, along with the disciples and those who witnessed the death and resurrection of Jesus, changed the hearts and minds of ordinary people and in time the Emperor of Rome himself! Christianity began quickly to spread throughout the Roman Empire and for the next 2000 years.
Historical note: The armour shown in the drawing was developed during a later period of the first century and has been used in this composition for dramatic effect.
Pencil drawing 25” x 35” on Pastelmat