The Word: Keep the model of Christ in mind

Published 9:29 am Thursday, October 12, 2017

I was watching one of those crime shows on TV the other week and the detective kept scratching his head and darting his eyes between two or three pictures of a crime scene. When asked by another officer what it was he was looking for, the detective said, “I don’t know yet … I’ll know when I find it.”

I remember thinking about how Christmas time rolls around each year and we are out there doing our shopping, and I don’t know, but if you’re like me, there is always that one friend, family member or co-worker that you just don’t know what to get them.

You are out there in the store wandering around from aisle to aisle, and you don’t know what you want to get them, but you just know that you will know it when you see it.

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How many of us do not know what we are looking for in our lives and are just wandering out there, seeming, searching and still lacking in what it is we need to find? Maybe some people are out there today and don’t even know they are looking for something or missing something in their lives.

This was the case for the Roman Centurion who stood at the foot of the cross at the crucifixion of Christ. After Christ has given up the spirit on the cross following his crucifixion, this one centurion utters these words found in Mark 15:38-39: “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’” This was his “moment of discovery.”

Three physical things occurred in order for this revelation to take place. First, the centurion came to the foot of the cross — not by his own choosing, but out of obligation to his job. Second, the centurion spent at least six hours at the foot of the cross listening to Jesus, watching Jesus and learning from Jesus, whether he wanted to or not. Third, the centurion encountered the unexpected on this typical “day at the office” for him. This one man, who was simply showing up to work and doing his normal day-today job could discover that Jesus was, and is, the Son of God.

Imagine what more could happen for us — and for others — if we would intentionally draw near to the cross, spend hours with Christ and seek the unexpected? Our challenge and the challenge for us to bring to others is to draw near to the cross, embrace salvation through Christ, spend time learning and growing in him and from him and discover that it is what we may all be looking for that we don’t even know we are missing. I hope all of us have those moments of discovery.

BARRY VASSAR is the pastor at Fitzgerald Memorial Baptist Church. His email address is