The Italian Band
"There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band [see Roman Legions and Ancient Empires - Rome], A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do." (Acts 10:1-6 KJV)
"When the centurion, and they that were with Him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God."
Although they are often portrayed as such, because as such many of them were, some Roman troops were not, or continued to be, like the sadistic thugs who gleefully brutalized and crucified the Son of God (see Stand Back Now, Let It Happen) and persecuted His followers thereafter. Some, like Cornelius, as described above, saw the Light at some point. Ironically, it may have been the troops who actually crucified Christ that came to realize most deeply that Christianity truly is The Way:
"Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto Him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped Him, and put on Him a Scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon Him, and took the reed, and smote Him on the head. And after that they had mocked Him, they took the robe off from Him, and put His own raiment on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him."
"And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear His cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They gave Him Vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink. And they crucified Him, and parted His garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched Him there; And set up over His head His accusation written, This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews. Then were there two thieves crucified with Him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself. If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." [see What Did Christ's Cross Really Look Like?]
"Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes [see Lawyers] and elders, said, He saved others; Himself he cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with Him, cast the same in His teeth."
"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" [see Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani?]
"Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias."
"And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save Him."
"Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost." [see What Happens When You Die?]
"And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened [see Through The Gates Of Hell]; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with Him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God." (Matthew 27:27-54 KJV)
Fact Finder: Will those "who pierced Him," meaning not just the Roman soldier who actually killed Him, but humanity as a whole, face Christ some day?
See also When Will You Be Judged?