Agnus Dei Presents!
Our Holy Saturday Query:
Was Jesus Anointed for Burial?

‘And Nicodemus also came
(he who at the first sight came to Jesus by night)
bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes,
about an hundred-pound weight’
John 19:39
We love doing presentations on the Shroud.

One of our favorite parts is the insightful questions people ask.

At this time of the year, one of the standard queries is
“have scientists found any traces of myrrh or aloe on the Shroud?”

The thought by those who ask, of course, is that this would help lend credence that the
Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus since the Gospels clearly state that Nicodemus brought 100 pounds of the spices to anoint Jesus’ Body for burial.

One can imagine the perplexed looks we get when we tell them emphatically that no traces of myrrh and aloe have been detected on the cloth!

This makes most people inquisitive as to why not — and even leads some to, once again, doubt the authenticity of the

In reality, the fact that science has not discovered these spices on the
Shroud is all the more proof for the authenticity of the cloth!

We cannot emphasize how important the
Shroud is in enabling all to comprehend that what we read does not necessarily mean what we think it means.

This leads us to our favorite topic, which is to watch out for those protest-ants who make their claims based on
“sola scriptura” or “Scripture alone.”

In other words, if it is not in the Bible, these yokels refuse to accept it, whether it be the Truths of Sacred Tradition, Church dogma or history from those who were part of the early Church.

The science of the
Shroud, its history and the Sacred Traditions that surround it prove these people do not know what they are talking about.

And the anointing of Jesus for burial is a perfect example.

Again, clearly the Bible records the gift of spices Nicodemus brings to the Foot of the Cross on that Good Friday to anoint the Body of Christ as required for burial.

But what most people don’t understand, as while the anointing is a requirement of the Mosaic Law


Very simple.

Because in the Sacred Traditions of the Jewish people of 1st-century Israel, there is a far more important Mosaic requirement in regard to the burial of a body that supersedes the need for it to be anointed or washed down.

The requirement?


In the Sacred Traditions of 1st-century Israel — and even today among the Orthodox Jews — if you spill your blood the day of your death it is NOT to separated from your body for the blood is the life of the body.

The Jewish people — especially the Pharisees — of Jesus’ time believed in a bodily resurrection.  They believed that God will resurrect mankind for a general judgment at the end of time.  And as such, if you spill your blood — for any reason — on the day of your death, your blood was to go into the tomb with you for the day of resurrection.

Orthodox believers of Jesus’ time were so serious about this that they would sweep the very dirt to capture the blood of the victim and bury it with the body.  This is why in many old Passion paintings of Christ included with the instruments of torture we will find a broom or a sweeping object depicted.  For the broom itself, after having touched the blood of the victim, would have to go into the tomb with the believer.

Does this mean that every drop of blood is secured by those who are attending to the person who died?  Of course not!  But they are truly trying their best and they are deadly serious about this activity.

So while Nicodemus comes to the Cross with the myrrh and aloe to anoint the Body of Jesus, he finds he cannot.  Remember, the Scriptures never explicitly state that Nicodemus anoints the Body.  The Gospels only relate that the spices are brought to the Cross.

Why can’t Nicodemus anoint Jesus’ Body?

Because he has a large problem on his hands.


And the last thing Nicodemus wants to do is wash that Blood away with spices and ointments.  He wants that Blood to stay with the Body!  And, as an Orthodox Jew, Nicodemus will do nothing to interfere with that necessity.

As further proof of this, one only needs to continue to read the Gospels to confirm that this scenario is correct.


By asking the simple question, what were the women trying to do that first Easter Sunday morning when they returned to the Tomb?
‘And Mary Magdalene,
and Mary, the mother of Joseph,
beheld where He was laid.
And when the Sabbath was past,
Mary Magdalene, and Mary,
the mother of James, and Salome,
bought sweet spices,
that coming, they might anoint Jesus’
Mark 15-16:47-1
The Scriptures clearly teach us what the women were trying to do.  They were trying to anoint the Body of Christ!

How many times did Jewish people in 1st-century Israel anoint a body?


Therefore, if Nicodemus had accomplished the anointing of Jesus on Good Friday, the women would never have dared tried to anoint Him again on Sunday!

Nicodemus could not anoint the Body of Jesus because the Blood of our Lord was still fresh and had not yet dried — nor was His Body in the Tomb yet.  Perhaps Nicodemus blessed the Lord’s Body with the spices in simple anointings, much as we do with Holy Water or Holy Oil.  But this disciple would never have dared washed our Savior’s Body as was the usual course of action in 1st-century Israel.

But the women knew that the Lord’s Blood — after waiting for the Sabbath to end — was now dried and even if some of it were removed from Jesus’ Body as they anointed Him, the Blood would remain where it belongs:  in His Tomb!

This has nothing to do with Jesus being the Son of God.  This has to do with the Sacred Traditions of Israel and the fact that Jesus is Jewish!  And if one is into the false and failed “theology” of
“sola scriptura,” one cannot comprehend these simple facts.  And, as a result, one cannot truly comprehend the Scriptures!

Jesus is the Word, and, as such, He is THE Master of Words, not your local protest-ant preacher.

So we have just proven not only through the science of the
Shroud but in the Sacred Traditions of 1st-century Israel that Jesus was NOT anointed for burial at the Foot of the Cross by Nicodemus, despite the fact of what the Scriptures seem to indicate and record.  In fact, the women could not anoint Him either when they returned to the Tomb because they had a big problem as well:  Jesus was not there!

Does this then mean that Jesus was never anointed for burial?


Jesus WAS anointed for burial — but not at the Foot of the Cross.

The anointing of Jesus is in the Scriptures and, therefore, biblically based and further proof of the scenario we have just examined and corroborated with the

Where, when and how was Jesus anointed for burial?

It happened in Bethany, six days before His Crucifixion, when a woman — perhaps Mary Magdalene — was recorded enacting the following:
“There came to Him a woman
having an alabaster box of precious ointment,
and poured it on His Head as He was at table.
And the disciples seeing it, had indignation, saying:
‘To what purpose is this waste?
For this might have been sold for much,
and given to the poor.’
And Jesus knowing it, said to them:
‘Why do you trouble this woman?
For she hath wrought a good work upon Me.
For the poor you have always with you:
but Me you have not always.
For she in pouring this ointment upon My Body,
Amen, I say to you, wheresoever this Gospel
shall be preached in the whole world,
that also which she hath done,
shall be told in memory of her.’ ”
Matthew 26:7-13
Jesus knows what He is doing.  In the Power of His Words, we have just fulfilled that prophecy, once again, as we repeated the story of the woman who anointed Jesus for burial.  That’s how incredible Jesus’ Words are!

A prophecy that is fulfilled every time we discuss whether or not Jesus was anointed for burial at the Foot of the Cross.

The answer is clear.  He was not.

As Jesus Himself states, He was anointed for burial six days earlier in Bethany by a woman whose story will never be forgotten, for the Lord has decreed it so.

And, on the
Shroud, we do not find myrrh and aloe, but researchers have discovered something else far more fascinating:  on the dorsal of the Shroud, only where the Blood-soaked hair is imaged, are microscopic traces of spikenard!  This is the very ointment used (see John 12:3) by the woman who “poured it” on Jesus’ Head when He was at table!

Jesus was anointed for burial and the
Shroud proves where and how!
We adore Thee, O Christ,
and praise Thee,
because by Thy Holy Cross
Thou hast redeemed the world;
and by Thy Holy Shroud,
Thou hast proven it to the world!

Happy Easter!

© 2003 Agnus Dei Presents!