On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
They had watched Him die.
Joseph’s careful respect for Jesus shows how he felt about Him. (Luke 23:50-53)
Luke dated this action as late Friday afternoon as the preparation for the Sabbath began –sundown on Friday. Luke’s explanation is helpful for the non-Jewish readers.
The Gospel writers make reference to the women going to the tomb late Friday afternoon. In every case, the reader is prepared for the account of Jesus’ resurrection. The women knew where there going on Sunday morning — they had previously been there and seen Jesus’ corpse in tomb. They would prepare the spices for their return on Sunday…after the Sabbath (Saturday) had passed. But for now, they had to wait (Luke 23:54-56) .
The chief priest and Pharisees still feared what would happen; they were concerned how His followers would respond to His death. So, they requested that the tomb be sealed by Roman guards. (Matt. 27:62-66)
It was Saturday – the Sabbath – the day of rest. For His disciples, it was a restless day.
They had watched Him suffer and die and He was gone.