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

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus was already dead. Pilate called the army officer that guarded Jesus. Pilate asked the officer if Jesus was already dead. The officer told Pilate that Jesus was dead. So Pilate told Joseph he could have the body.
— Mark 15:44-45 NLT
Illustration of Mark 15:44-45 NLT —  So Pilate told Joseph he could have the body.

Key Thought

We should gather several bits of valuable information from this verse. (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. (2) Jesus was clearly and legally confirmed dead by those experienced in the work of torture and death. (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. These three facts help us know with certainty (1) that Jesus endured a horribly punishing death, (2) that there was no doubt that he died, and (3) yet that his death summoned up something deep within people that touched them and moved them to honor him. While the first three facts are historically important, these last three must be spiritually important to us and move us to honor him with our lives today.

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for the horrible suffering and death that Jesus faced willingly 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. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

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


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.

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.