You Will Know IT When You See IT (Matthew 27:54)

The singer’s last note reverberated throughout the concert hall as applause drowned out his finish. Everyone was on their feet, hooting and whistling. “He has IT!” one of the judges declared. The rest of the panel nodded their heads in enthusiastic agreement, joining in the revelry.

Yes, but what is IT?

IT has been variously defined as a heightened panache, grace under pressure, star quality, flamboyant charm and confidence, and an overpowering presence. The Spanish have a phrase for this-tener duende. It has been likened to the swagger of a skilled matador as he deftly confronts a bull. Others have applied it to skilled musicians. Yet assigning it may result in inevitable pushback from others who may deem the recipient is unworthy or does not fulfill their criteria of IT. Tener duende is helpful but perhaps it does not completely capture what IT is. Like many abstract concepts, it is difficult to define and more easily experienced than explained. You will know it when you see it. Perhaps we need to redefine IT with a novel example.

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!”

Matthew 27:54 (NKJV)

This passage is taken from the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus Christ had just been crucified on the Cross. The Roman centurion who uttered these words was one of many witnesses to the event and he was not coerced into making this bold declaration. In fact, to declare Jesus as God would be a heretical statement during this time when the Roman emperor was revered as a god. Undoubtedly he had witnessed hundreds of cruxificions and other executions and heard their last words and cries of anguish. What was different about this one?

A somber darkness descended over the land during the six hours Jesus hung on the Cross. In the midst of His anguish, Jesus forgave the sins of the thief who was hanging on the cross next to Him even as the thief’s other companion continued to hurl insults at Jesus. He reached out in compassion to His earthly mother, Mary, and His beloved disciple John, and made arrangements for John to care for her after He was gone. At the exact moment of His death, an earthquake shook the land and tore the curtain of the temple from top to bottom and split open stone tombs. This execution was very different from all others. Could it be because of who was executed?

Jesus Christ was executed on the Cross but three days later, God raised Him from the dead, exactly as He prophesied to His disciples. He took the sins of the world upon His broken body and paid the price by sacrificing Himself so that we would no longer be separated from God by our sins. Only by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will we be reconciled to God and receive salvation and eternal life. 

The Roman centurion may not have understood all of the theological ramifications when he witnessed the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ but he recognized that God was present. This was IT!

You will know IT when you see IT. 


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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