What Jesus Did! 'Dead!' — Mark 15:44-45

Sunday, December 20, 2020

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[When Joseph of Arimathea asked for Jesus' body,] Pilate couldn't believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body.
— Mark 15:44-45 NLT

Key Thought

We should gather several bits of valuable information from these verses:
  1. Jesus died more quickly than most facing crucifixion — the brutal treatment with his beating and scourging, something most who were crucified did not endure, took a heavy physical toll on Jesus' body. He died a horribly punishing death.
  2. Jesus was clearly and legally confirmed dead by those experienced in the work of torture and death, so there was no doubt that he died.
  3. Joseph could not remain a "closet" follower of Jesus and pick up his body — he had to request it from the one who gave permission for Jesus to be crucified, Pilate himself. Joseph's actions are just one example that Jesus' death summoned up something deep within people that touched them and moved them to honor him.
These facts are historically important and certified by witnesses, and they must be spiritually important to us and move us to honor him with our lives today.

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for Jesus' willingness to submit to such horrible suffering and death so that we — so that I — can be reconciled to you. Please help me to continually remember his sacrifice and let it be a continual reminder that I need to live my life as a daily praise to you and him. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Mark 10:32-34, 45
  • John 12:20-33
  • John 19:38-42


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Illustration of Mark 15:44-45 NLT —  The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.