Then took they the body of Jesus
It being taken down from the cross, and carried to the designed place of interment; they, Joseph and Nicodemus, either themselves, or by their servants, took the body;
and wound it in linen clothes;
or "swathed", or "wrapped it in linen"; rolled it about the body many times, as was the custom of the eastern nations to do; this was what Joseph prepared:
with the spices;
which they either wrapped up with the linen, or strowed over the body when it was wound up; these Nicodemus brought;
as the manner of the Jews is to bury;
both was usual with them; both to wind up the dead in linen; hence R. Jonathan, alluding to this custom, when R. Isai was taken, and others would have delivered him, said, (wnydob tmh Krky) , "let the dead be wrapped in his own linen F4"; and also to bury them with spices; hence we read of "the spices of the dead" in a Jewish canon F5:
``they do not say a blessing over a lamp, nor over the spices of idolaters; nor over a lamp, nor over (Mytm lv) (Mymvbh) , "the spices of the dead":''the use of which, Bartenora on the place says, was to drive away an ungrateful smell. The wrapping up the body of Christ in a fine linen cloth, was a token of his purity and innocence; and significative of that pure and spotless righteousness he had now brought in: the strewing it with spices may denote the fragrancy of Christ's death to Jehovah the Father, in whose sight it was precious, and whose sacrifice to him is of a sweet smelling savour; and also to all sensible sinners, to whom a crucified Christ is precious; since by his death sin is expiated, the law fulfilled, justice satisfied, reconciliation made, security from condemnation obtained, and death is abolished.
F4 T. Hieros. Ternmot, fol. 46. 2.
F5 Misn. Beracot. c. 8. sect. 6.