Eyewitness to Easter: Pilate Releases Jesus Body

Our last mention of Jesus in the Bible is releasing the body to Joseph of Arimathea.

“Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.”  {Mark 15:43}

Going before Pilate wasn’t an easy thing, but Joseph faced his fears and went anyways to ask for the body of Jesus.

“The body of Christ was begged. It was, as the dead bodies of malefactors are, at the disposal of the government. Those that hurried him to the cross, designed that he should make his grave with the wicked; but God designed he should make it with the rich.” {Matthew Henry Commentary}

“Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died.  And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead.” {Mark 15:44}

Often death could take days when a person was crucified. Pilate was surprised to hear Jesus had already died and even confirmed the information with his centurion.

“Pilate doubted (so some understand it) whether he was yet dead or no, fearing lest he should be imposed upon, and the body should be taken down alive, and recovered, whereas the sentence was, as with us, to hang till the body be dead. He therefore called the centurion, his own officer, and asked him whether he had been any while dead.” {Matthew Henry Commentary}

Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus body and buried him but as we know on Sunday morning the grave was empty.

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