The Roman soldier did a double-take. He had seen many crucifixions, so he knew that death normally came (at the very earliest) in about twelve hours. Sometimes several days would pass before a criminal succumbed to asphyxiation. Yet Jesus, despite being in His early 30's and apparently in perfect health, died in a mere six hours.
Just to be sure that He really was dead, the soldier thrust his spear into Jesus' side. Immediately, blood and water gushed out, confirming to the puzzled soldier that Jesus had indeed died.
Joseph of Arimathea heard that Jesus, the Rabbi he had been secretly following, had died as if He'd been a criminal. How unjust! Why hadn't he, a wealthy man, used his money and influence to buy off the Sanhedrin? Why didn't he bribe Pilate? Now, filled with grief and self-recrimination, Joseph obtained permission to bury Jesus in his newly purchased tomb.
Nicodemus shared Joseph's feelings of guilt, having also concealed his faith in Jesus in order to maintain his good standing with the Pharisees. He could have argued against the mock trial and trumped up charges...but he remained silent. As he helped Joseph carry the body to the tomb and helped the women wrap Him in grave clothes, he wept at knowing that he had valued his prestige above the Master's life.
All three men had handled Jesus' lifeless body. They knew, with absolutely no doubt, that He had died. The apostle John identified them, corroborating his own testimony that Jesus had indeed given up His life. The certainty of Jesus death and burial, you see, leads us to a more glorious certainty!