Skip to main content

The Deposition

Graham Sutherland's 'The Descent from the Cross'
Graham Sutherland's 'The Descent from the Cross'

The removal of Christ’s body from the Cross is related in all four of the Gospels. Mark, 15, 42–6 gives the following account:

And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath,

Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited the kingdom of God, came, and went boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

And he bought him fine linen and took him down, and wrapped him in linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

John 19, 39–40, adds that Joseph of Arimathea was helped by one Nicodemus who

at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

Then they took the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

Other highlight objects you might like

Other pathways and stories you might like

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...

University of Cambridge Museums logo
Cambridge City Council logo
Arts Council England Logo
Research England logo
The Technology Partnership logo
Brewin Dolphin Logo