After Jesus gave up His Spirit and expired on the cross, John, who alone among the apostles is mentioned as being at the crucifixion, notes that the Jewish leaders asked that the legs of those crucified be broken to hasten their deaths, which might otherwise take up to several days.  Because the next day was a high sabbath required by the first day of unleavened bread, and the day after that the seventh day sabbath, unless their bodies were removed by sundown they would likely find themselves in the position of a catch-22.  For their law forbid them from leaving one who had been put to death and hung on a tree from remaining on the tree overnight (Deut 21:22-23), but also forbid them from doing any work to remove the body on a sabbath.  However, when the soldiers came to Jesus to break His legs, they saw that He was already dead, and so one of the soldiers instead pierced His side with a spear to verify that no life was left in Him, thus fulfilling two Scriptures that the bones of the Passover Lamb should not be broken and that they would look upon Him Whom they had pierced.  Like the command to the Jews to be careful to not break the bones of their Passover lamb, in what way was the command to not leave one put to death and hung on a tree exposed overnight another signature that the Lord gave to the Jews by which they might know that His hand was in it, in order that they might believe?

Writing after the other Gospel writers, near the end of his life after the other eyewitnesses had passed away, John in his gospel was writing down some remaining things about which time and the Spirit had given him understanding, to bear witness to the truth, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (Joh 20:31).  Are we as faithful to the end to do all we can to bear a similar witness to the truth that others may believe?  One of the things that struck John as especially significant was that when the soldier pierced Jesus’ side there came out from His body blood and water.  For throughout Scripture, both blood and water are noted as purifying and cleansing from sin, so that along with Jesus’ Spirit of life that was also poured out as He died, all three bear witness to the truth John was sharing of Who Jesus was and the salvation He came to give to all who would believe; 1Jo 1:1-3, 5:6-8.  Do we then truly believe John’s Gospel witness that the Spirit and the water and the blood were poured out through our Savior’s death to cleanse us from all our sins?  I.e., do we have their witness in ourselves because they are in fact cleansing us from our sins, by which we know that we have eternal life?  Cf. Eph 5:25-27, Tit 3:5-6, 1Jo 1:7, 5:10-13.

What would typically happen to the dead bodies of those who had been crucified in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus?  I.e., what would have happened to the corpses of those crucified with Jesus that makes what happened to His corpse all the more significant?  Note: Although the Romans would especially during time of war or rebellion leave the corpses of those crucified exposed upon the cross to be eaten as carrion by the birds of prey in order to instill fear (cf. Gen 40:19), during times of relative peace they would follow the local customs to promote good will and cooperation towards those they subjugated.  In accordance with Jewish law, that typically would have meant burial (cf. Deut 21:22-23), but not in a private sepulcher which only the rich could afford.  Rather, they would be disposed of in a mass, unmarked grave, such as where animal carcasses were also disposed of at the town dump in the Valley of Hinnom (Ge Hinnom, that typified Gehenna or hell), so as to maintain ritual purity and promote public health and sanitation at the most minimal cost.  Those deemed to have troubled Israel might also have been cremated to make an example of them to the public; cf. Gen 38:24, Lev 21:9, Jos 7:25.

In what ways would such an ignoble disposal of Jesus’ body have made the fact of His resurrection much more difficult, if not impossible, to establish?  Think: Even if His body wasn’t cremated, would Jesus’ followers have necessarily even been able to locate where His body was interred to visit it three days later and determine for themselves that His grave was empty?  Even with Jesus’ resurrection appearances, which were often not immediately recognized as such (see Luk 24:15-16, Joh 20:14-16, 21:4), had He been cremated, or interred with others, or buried in a mass grave, how much more difficult would it have been for the disciples, who were already slow to believe (Luk 24:25, Joh 20:25), to prove to themselves, and to others, that His body was indeed missing, because He had been resurrected, and that they hadn’t just imagined from wishful thinking that Jesus was really alive?  How does this help us to understand the importance of the empty tomb, as opposed to just Jesus’ resurrection appearances, to establish the fact of His resurrection, and again the Lord’s signature in orchestrating the events that saw His body interred in a costly tomb to which not only Jesus’ followers could point as proof, but that His enemies would also have to explain?  See Isa 53:9, Mat 27:57.  Cf. Gen 23:2-4,8-9,15-16, and think: how much would it still cost today to have a tomb hewn out of solid rock, which Jesus’ family and scattered followers could hardly have provided, even if such things had entered their thoughts at that time, especially with the immediacy that the circumstances required?

What then do all four gospels record happened to Jesus’ body after He had died, that in itself points to God’s hand at work in Christ’s death and ends up being very important for establishing the fact of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead?  See Mat 27:57-61, Mar 15:42-47, Luk 23:50-56, Joh 19:38-42.