v. 50-56 "Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how His body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment."
Joseph was a rich man and was a member of the Jewish Council. He did not agree with what they did to Jesus. Sometimes we are powerless to stop cruelty. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body so that he could give Him a proper burial. This could have cost him his position on the council, his position in society and he could be shunned by the other leaders. When it is right to take action do so or you will miss a wonderful opportunity. Joseph was a secret disciple of Jesus and when He died, Joseph decided to set aside any punishment from men to help Jesus. Some might think this man was too late, that he should have stood up for Jesus before He died. It is never too late to do the right thing. It was tradition for bodies to be placed in tombs dug out of the rock.
The women followed to see where the body would be laid to rest. So that after the Sabbath they could come back with spices and perfumes. Women could rarely do great things back then, they were limited to being a wife and mother. So the act of taking care of the body after death was something they could do to show respect to Jesus. Do not think that your contribution is small, you do what you can with what you have. These women were not permitted to stand before the governor or religious leaders to defend Jesus, but if they were they would have been a positive witness to Jesus' life. The women started to get things ready to take to the tomb, but had to stop because of the Sabbath. The Sabbath started in the evening (at sunset) on Friday and ended Saturday evening. They followed the law even thought they probably would have rather taken care of Jesus' body that day.