Longinus: The Roman Centurion Who Crucified Jesus Christ

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Jesus was a Jew. As a Jew, he should have been tried by the the Jewish judicial council, the Sanhedrin. But he was tried by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. He was accused of a political crime. He was said to have plotted to overthrow Roman rule over Judea, to gain the independence of his country.

Pilate found Jesus innocent of the charge, but he was pressured by the Jerusalem mob to condemn him to death. Pilate washed his hands and entrusted Jesus into the hands of his enemies, the clergy of the temple of Jerusalem, headed by high priest Caiaphas.

The Jews, as a colony of Rome, did not have the power to execute a criminal sentenced to die. This power belongs to Rome. So it had to be the Roman government is executing a criminal sentenced to die. This power belongs to Rome. Assigned to execute the penalty was a Roman centurion. The Gospel account did not mention his name, but according to Acta Pilata, an apocryohal book, his name was Longinus.

A Centurion in the Roman army is an officer who is in command of one hundred men. That is where the title of his military rank was derived. Cento means one hundred. According to my source, Longinus was a secret admirer of Jesus. It will be recalled that the Gospel account of the crucifixion states that from twelve high noon up to three o’ clock, the sky darkened.

Reacting to this phenomenon, Longinus said this was a sign that Jesus must be the son of God. After Jesus resurrected from the dead, Longinus converted to the Christian faith. He became a minister of the Church and rose to become a bishop of his home province, Cappadocia.

Apart from Longinus, there were two other secret disciples of Jesus. They were Nicodemo and Joseph of Arimathea. After the crucifixion, these two went to Pilate and asked that the body of Jesus be entrusered to them. Pilate acceded. These two disciples prepared Jesus’ body for burial in accordance with Jewish custom.

Jesus was buried in a grave carved from stone that belonged to Joseph of Arimathea. What happened to these two, after the resurrection? The Gospels were silent. Nothing more was said about them. But for certain, Jesus prepared rooms for them in the heavenly mansions.


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