“Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph.” Mark 15:44-45
Jesus was really dead…gone…not coming back. That’s what death means. It’s over. That’s how I felt when I got a phone call that my mother had passed away a few weeks ago. She had departed from this earth, was not coming back, her body was already on her way to the funeral home. The curtain came down.
Death means the end of dreams, hopes, expectations. It’s horrible and even if you know that someone you love is going to die, as with my mom, it’s riveting and life changing. I realized that my mother would die soon, but the finality of that dreadful phone call is unnerving nonetheless.
Pilate was “surprised” that Jesus had died so fast; but after the beating He took and the weight He carried, it should not have surprised someone as callous, indifferent and accustomed to death as Pilate. Of course He was dead!
And yet Pilate had to make sure that Jesus was really “gone for good”. It really “hit” me as I read this passage, that the man, Jesus, this charismatic, incredible speaker, miracle worker, humble man of God was really dead. And his death must have rattled His disciples, family and friends. Imagine the shock of learning that a young man so wonderful, gentle, intelligent and well-loved was dead. There’s something surreal about hearing about the death of someone you love. You feel like you are walking slowly in a dream…..you are not sure you heard it correct….you ask person telling you the sad new if they are sure.
My young sons keep asking me if I am going to die. The corona virus news is all anyone is talking about and everyone is scared-but especially our children. They are completely dependent upon us, as parents, and they are not only vulnerable to the disease but they also are considering the possibility of their parent(s) being lost. One of my boys has asked me several times over the past few days who his new parents will be if I die. Death is scary and we need to be able to share to our children and those who do not know Jesus Christ why there is no longer a reason to fear death.
Jesus conquered death and the reason for death on the cross. That’s why “Good Friday” is a good day. Jesus was really dead, but really did rise from the dead. My mother is really gone—-and one day I will be gone also. But my sons and I can be absolutely certain that a grand reunion will take place, and my mom, dad and I will be there to greet each of them—death has not won the victory. There, at that blessed, eternal home, there will be nothing but smiles, laughter, joy and unrestrained love.
We have nothing to fear—death has been defeated….the days of the Corona (Chinese) Virus are limited as well. Our God reigns—-let’s tell our children.