Quiet Spirit: Today, we have with us Servius Antonius Balduinus, a Roman soldier who was garrisoned at Jerusalem during the Jewish Passover when the Jews confronted Pontius Pilate that led to Jesus’ crucifixion. Thank you for consenting to visit Following My King.
Servius Antonius Balduinus Thank you for inviting me. As you said I was garrisoned at Jerusalem when the Jews confronted Pontius Pilate about this man called Jesus. Rome anticipated trouble and supplied us with additional troops to contain any uprising that might occur from the Jews.
Q. S.: Was this something new to you? Or had you seen other such actions?
S. A. B.: While I was there, I participated in several crucifixions. I thought the previous ones were all the same. However, the one with this man Jesus was . . . different. In the other ones, the criminals on the crosses shouted down curses onto us and the onlookers. This man Jesus asked His Father to forgive us. Forgive us? We caused Him to die and, yet, He sought God’s forgiveness for us.
Q. S.: Did you have any doubts about this one?
S. A. B.: “Why,” I asked myself “are we taking His very life?” Pilate told the Jews he found no guilt in this man and, yet, he turned Him over to the crowd. Yes, I joined in when my fellow soldiers divided up his garments, to the point of drawing lots when they decided to gamble for his undergarment As I look back, I realize it was so wrong to do. We justified it because there were four of us and he had five items of clothes. The undergarment was seamless, and we didn't want to cut it.
Q. S.: Did any people stand out to you? Did any of them act differently from the rest?
S. A. B.: While this horrific event was unfolding, I noticed a small group of four women and one young man watching. Later, I learned that one of the women was His mother. How terrible this must have been for her to watch: people brutalizing her own flesh and blood. I remember this Jesus calling down to her, “Woman, behold, your son!” And to the man, “Behold, your mother!”
Q. S.: How did this event affect you?
S. A. B.: Then my superior officer appointed me to puncture each of the three men in their side with my spear. After that, in case that process had not rendered them dead, I had to break their legs. When I approached the other two, they were still alive. I will always remember their screams of agony.
But this Jesus was already dead. I thought about all that I had seen and heard from this man Jesus, then I realized. “This man was truly the Son of God.” I Have not forgotten Jesus and what He did for each of us. My life has not been the same.
Q. S.: Thank you Servius Antonius Balduinus, for being here with us.