Daily Thought for: 23rd September


John 7. 50-52; 19. 39-42

Evidently Nicodemus had come to trust the Lord, yet, he was a secret disciple. During the days just prior to the Feast of Tabernacles the Lord was in the city of Jerusalem. The common people were confused as to whether He was ‘the Prophet’, or even ‘the Christ’. The Sanhedrin, concerned by the growing interest, sent the temple police to arrest Him. They returned empty-handed, and to the irritation of their superiors testified that ‘never man spake like this man’. They seemed to have been won over by the compelling nature of His teaching. The Pharisees castigated the officers and told them they, like the common people of the street, had been deceived. They reminded them forcibly that none of the Pharisees or rulers had believed on Him. By this time probably unknown to them at least one had—Nicodemus. 

This false argument compelled Nicodemus to speak publicly for the Lord. He said He should not be condemned without a proper hearing in the Sanhedrin. His colleagues turned on him, berating him as a biased Galilean, and therefore likely to support this Jesus. No prophet can come from Galilee, they said, conveniently forgetting Elijah. They also overlooked the fact that Jesus hailed from Judea. The meeting broke up in confusion.  

Later, when the Sanhedrin unanimously condemned the Lord it is unlikely that Nicodemus was present—though perhaps he should have been! 

We next see him coming forward after the crucifixion as a companion and helper of Joseph of Arimathea. For both of them their earlier secrecy almost destroyed their discipleship, but now their open discipleship destroyed the secrecy. With loving and tender hands they pull out the nails and gently lift His body down from the cross. Quickly, because of nightfall, they wrap the body in linen clothes together with the mixture of myrrh and aloes brought by Nicodemus. They then laid His body in Joseph’s new tomb, saw a stone rolled to the door, and departed. At last Nicodemus had come out for the Lord. What had changed him? There is no doubt that it was the sight of the Lord on the cross—‘it makes the coward spirit brave, and nerves the feeble arm to fight’. We, too, should bravely stand for Him. 


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