John 19:40

40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.

John 19:40 Meaning and Commentary

John 19:40

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.


FOOTNOTES:

F4 T. Hieros. Ternmot, fol. 46. 2.
F5 Misn. Beracot. c. 8. sect. 6.

John 19:40 In-Context

38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.
39 Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.
40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.
41 Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid.
42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.