After the Lord’s death, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus take Jesus’ body down from the Cross, clean and wrap His Body, and bury Him. Matthew’s Gospel reveals that new tomb in which Jesus was laid belonged to Joseph. Taking Jesus’ body down from the Cross would have required great care and strength in order not to further damage His body. And to prepare Jesus’ Body to be buried, Nicodemus provides 75 pounds of burials spices along with myrrh and aloes. These two men of wealth and status could have easily recruited others to have these important tasks completed for them, but they honor Jesus by burying Him themselves. The resources and labor that Joseph and Nicodemus bring forth to bury Jesus tell of both their status and of their appreciation of the Savior.
Can you imagine carrying Jesus’ body and preparing Him for burial? Imagine the thorns lodged into His head, where a gold crown should be. Imagine the marks of dry tears and blood down the side of Jesus’ face. Imagine the swelling of the face, the cuts from the lashes, the wound on His side, and the nails in His hands and feet. To behold such a sight, and to understand why He suffered is enough to move a person to the deepest mourning the soul could experience. Surely Joseph and Nicodemus would have been overwhelmed. Yet, they take the bruised, bloodied, and battered body of Jesus and they show Him the reverence and respect that His opponents did not. They recognize that even in His death, Jesus deserves their devotion. May we show the same reverence for Jesus in His death that Joseph and Nicodemus showed whenever we reflect on the death of our Savior.