Mark 15:44

But Pilate was surprised to hear that he had already died. So he sent for the officer, and asked if he were already dead;

there’s no way
that death
was that quick

I expect suffering
built upon suffering
struggle to the end

let’s await
a coroner’s verdict
before signing off

death is nothing
to play games with
I look for seriously dead

The word often translated in this verse as “wonder” is a variant on the same word heard in 5:20 as “marveled” or “amazed”. The consideration here is wrapped in amazement that Jesus was already dead.

A usual expectation is that it would take a day or so for the muscles to exhaust themselves and the crucified not be able to take another inhalalation and suffocate.

Unless an underlying medical condition exists or the beatings were severe, Pilate is correct to seek corroboration.

Presumably, this is the same centurion who used what could be interpreted as pious words as they saw Jesus die. Without an additional word here, this can add to other reasons to affirm the centurion was, more than anything else, mocking. Jesus died as everyone crucified dies.

There is to be no question that Elijah or anyone else took Jesus’ body before he was well and thoroughly dead. Pilate was to certify Jesus’ death and Jesus’ body was removed by a member of the Council (regardless of his personal hopes).

The principalities and powers have apparently won the day. They remain in charge of the world. At question is whether Jesus’ understanding that the consequence of living as though love of G*D and love of Neighb*r in an economic system that privileges the few over the many would be suffering and death was the end or if there is a rising and what the nature of that rising might be.

So many have lived noble lives, enfleshing good. So many have had their life summarily removed if the authorities feel there is some question of or threat to their rule. Such authority seems to be persistent from one regime to a next. In such rocky and weedy ground, how do we measure the value of a seed that dies?

Questions of liberation are perennial. Evidence of a rising tide continues to be sought.

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