“When the centurion,
In this way,
His last breath,
Was God’s Son!’”
Ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ κεντυρίων ὁ παρεστηκὼς ἐξ ἐναντίας αὐτοῦ ὅτι οὕτως ἐξέπνευσεν, εἶπεν Ἀληθῶς οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος Υἱὸς Θεοῦ ἦν.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:54, except that there is no mention of an earthquake here, just the centurion statement alone. In Luke, chapter 23:47, the centurion simply said that this man was innocent, without any earthquake. There was nothing about a centurion or an earthquake in John, chapter 19. Mark said that this Roman centurion (Ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ κεντυρίων), the one facing or guarding Jesus (ὁ παρεστηκὼς ἐξ ἐναντίας αὐτοῦ), saw the way that Jesus had died or spent his last breath (ὅτι οὕτως ἐξέπνευσεν). He said (εἶπεν) that truly this man was the Son of God (Ἀληθῶς οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος Υἱὸς Θεοῦ ἦν). It is interesting to note that the leader of the Roman soldiers, this centurion, who was in charge of 100 men, issued this statement. He, the gentile Roman soldier, was the one calling Jesus the Son of God.
“Then Jesus cried again
With a loud voice.
His last breath.”
ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἀφῆκεν τὸ πνεῦμα.
This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:37. In Luke, chapter 23:46, Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying that he was commending his spirit into the hands of his Father. In John, chapter 19:30, Jesus said that it was finished after drinking the sour wine. Matthew has the simple comment that Jesus cried out with a loud voice again (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ). Jesus then gave up his spirit (ἀφῆκεν τὸ πνεῦμα) as he breathed his last breath. Jesus had died on the cross.
“After the first brother had died in this way, they brought forward the second for their sport. They tore off the skin of his head with the hair. They asked him.
‘Will you eat rather than have your body punished limb by limb?
He replied in the language of his ancestors.
He said to them.
Therefore he in turn underwent tortures as the first brother had done. When he was at his last breath, he said.
‘You accursed wretch,
You dismiss us from this present life.
But the King of the universe will raise us up
To an everlasting renewal of life,
Because we have died for his laws.’”
After the 1st brother had died, they took a 2nd brother and scalped him. Then they asked him if he would eat the pork food or be punished limb by limb. He responded with an emphatic no. Thus he suffered the same tortures as his other brother. With his last breath he warned them that they could dismiss him from this present life, but the King of the universe would raise him up to everlasting life because he had died for the law. It is interesting to note that God is the king of the universe, not merely the God of his ancestors. He also expects an eternal afterlife.
“Some of Heliodorus’ friends quickly begged Onias to call upon the Most High in order to grant life to one who was lying almost at his last breath. The high priest, fearing that the king might get the notion that some foul play had been perpetrated by the Jews with regard to Heliodorus, offered sacrifice for the man’s recovery. While the high priest was making an atonement sacrifice, the same young men appeared again to Heliodorus dressed in the same clothing. They stood and said.
‘Be very grateful to Onias the high priest,
Since for his sake
The Lord has granted you your life.
See that you,
Who have been scourged by heaven,
Report to all people
The majestic power of God.’
Having said this they vanished.”
Some of the friends of Heliodorus begged Onias to call upon God to grant him life as he was nearly on his last breath. The high priest Onias thought that this was a good idea. He did not want the king to think that the Jews had killed Heliodorus with foul play when he merely came to investigate some money problems. He then offered sacrifices for Heliodorus. Then the same 3 men who had appeared when they kicked and wiped Heliodorus to near death appeared again. This time they spoke, unlike last time when they simply acted. They told Heliodorus to be thankful that the high priest Onias had prayed for him. The Lord was going to save his life. In return, Heliodorus was to tell all people about the majestic power of God. When they were finished, they disappeared. Thus the 3 mysterious men reappear to save the life of Heliodorus.