The Gospels state that the women who accompanied Jesus to Jerusalem from Galilee saw Joseph and Nicodemus (Luke 23:50-56 and John 19:38-42) not only entomb the body of Jesus but saw them wrap Jesus in linen with 100 pounds of spices (John 19:35), Why then, did they need to prepare spices the same evening of the entombment and then to buy spices after the Sabbath was past (Saturday night)? The women also saw them roll the stone to the door of the tomb (Mark 15:46-47; Matthew 27:60). If the women saw the tomb was shut (see also Mark 16:3) and the stone was great (Mark 16:4), why didn't they bring someone with them that had enough strength to roll the great stone away from the door? Instead, they went alone without any guarantee someone would be there. So in reality I have two questions. Can someone help?
- Either the women didn't know. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were secret disciples. However, then we need to explain how the women knew where the tomb was.
After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. (John 19:38–42, ESV)
- Most likely they had gathered the spices before for Jesus' burial as a tribute and wanted to put them on Jesus in addition to what was already done.
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. (Luke 23:50–56, ESV)
Joseph of Arimathea was rich. He had the tomb and spices already available, probably for a relative or himself.
57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. (Matt. 27:57–61, ESV)
The women gathering their spices weren't ready and had to wait until after the Sabbath.
23:54–56. Because bodies decomposed rapidly, mourners were allowed to anoint, wash and wrap the body in its shrouds even on the sabbath. More elaborate arrangements that these loyal women disciples wish to bestow on Jesus, however, might wait until the sabbath (sundown Friday evening to sundown Saturday evening) has passed. -- Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Lk 23:54–56). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.