39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
Nicodemus joined Joseph in making provision for Jesus’ burial. They acted in concert. Only John of the four gospels mentions Nicodemus at the burial of Christ.
Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night,
Both Joseph and Nicodemus were influential men in Israel. These two were secret believers. This is the Nicodemus who came to Jesus “by night” (Jn 3:1ff). He is the one to whom our Lord gave John 3:16. Second, we find him at the Sanhedrin council meeting, where he urged for a fair hearing for Jesus (Jn 7:50-53).
Nicodemus first came to Jesus in the night, but now he supported Jesus in the light of day. This may have cost both him and Joseph seats on the Sanhedrin and the right to worship in the synagogue. It is amazing that two members of the highest court in the land became believers.
also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds [65 pounds].
The mixture of myrrh and aloes was for embalming the body of Jesus. Myrrh came from Arabia in powdered form. Aloes probably came from India. The Roman “hundred pounds” indicates a costly burial; this would be 65 pounds today. The purpose for putting myrrh and aloes around a dead body was to blunt putrefaction.
Then they [Joseph and Nicodemus] took the body of Jesus,
The burial of the body of Jesus by Joseph and Nicodemus was dangerous for them because it exposed them as believers. The Sabbath was almost upon them, so these two men had to bury the body of Jesus quickly. Burial of the body of Jesus confirms the reality of His death (1 Co 15:3,4).
and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
Spices were expensive and used to blunt the smell of a decaying body. Jewish embalming did not involve the removal of blood and organs. Their process of embalming involved washing the body and covering it with oils or spices. Here they bound the body of Jesus with “strips of linen.” These long, bandage-like pieces of linen would remain in the tomb after Jesus rose from the dead. This was not a shroud.
Bodies of believers will corrode in corruption, but they will raise in incorruption.
The idea of “strips of linen” argues against the Shroud of Turin. No one can argue with dogmatism about the Shroud because there is too much uncertainty about Jewish burial at this time to make strong affirmations.
The body of Jesus was sown in corruption but raised in incorruption. Believers will receive a resurrected body just like our Lord (Php 3:21).