John 19:38-39 “And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.”
When you follow the storyline of Nicodemus in the Bible, you wonder what it was that drew Him to Jesus. Most, if not all, the Pharisees were blinded by the traditions they taught and preached. Yet, he came to Jesus by night deeply troubled.
He saw and heard in Jesus something that sparked a question. That question made him look at his own belief system and wonder, “Am I right in what I believe; in what I stand for?”
It disturbed him enough to seek an answer.
We see the conversation earlier in John’s gospel.
John 3:1-2 “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”
Jesus lovingly and pointedly revealed to this learned man his need.
John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
After clarifying to Nicodemus’ heart, he reiterated again,
John 3:7 “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
Then, we are drawn into the discussion further as the most famous verse in the Bible is told him.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Can I stop here for a moment, dear reader, and say, do not ever get over the salvation and the gift of God given to us in the person of Jesus Christ?!
Nicodemus receives what is said. We do not hear any mention of him till after the death of Jesus on the cross. His recognition was not as the Pharisee, but just like Nicodemus. One might think that he had made a decision to trust what he was told that night.
For him to take part in the burial of the body of Jesus Christ would certainly have put him in trouble with his colleagues. Yet, we read that he was there at the crucifixion and saw it all. He waited to do what he could in support of his newfound faith.
He and Joseph of Arimathaea were there to take Jesus’ body and give it a proper burial.
Often, the choices we make because of what we believe define us.
Taking a stand at work to declare our Christianity lets everyone around us know where we stand. Our neighbors see us pile into our cars every Sunday dressed for church. They make assumptions and are drawn to conclusions based on wha they see.
Have we taken that witness further?
Have we talked of our Savior and what He has done for us in our life?
Have we invited those close to us to accompany us to church?
Have we offered to help with some situation or circumstance to gain their trust and be able to be a witness so they can have the opportunity to be saved?
Nicodemus found a friend in Joseph. He was received into a community of believers. Because he was cast out of the synagogue, he had no place to go but to follow his newfound faith.
He probably had more questions than answers.
He brought with him the stigma of his previous life.
Yet, he came.
Today, in our churches, there will be one who is like Nicodemus. They bring with them the baggage of life before Christ. They are fragile, seeking acceptance and love. Will we receive them as Joseph did?
Will we be the ones to come alongside them and make them feel welcome?
Today is a day filled with beautiful opportunities. Will you take the chance?