Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Truth about Nicodemus, part 3

We first were introduced to Nicodemus in John 3. He was a part of the story that brought Jesus to exclaim the most important verse in the Bible, the one you see on billboards, tattooed on football players’ cheeks, held aloft on homemade signs: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Nicodemus didn’t get it then and he didn’t understand later (John 7), but by John 19 we learn with one astonishing fact that Nicodemus came to a saving faith in Jesus even though he had stood against him when he was with the Pharisees.

What is this fact? We find it in the story of Jesus’ burial after the crucifixion: “Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen.”

I cannot think of any reason why Jesus’ disciples would allow a Pharisee to do this most important task unless that Pharisee was one of their own group, secretly, like Joseph of Arimathea. God can work in anyone’s heart. Nicodemus had questions. He asked. God answered.

Do you have questions?