I’ve written about Nicodemus before in a post called Got Questions. I love him even more each time I read his story in John 3. My recent viewing of The Chosen episode which portrayed the meeting between Jesus and Nicodemus, added to my affection.
I relate to the way Nicodemus held onto tradition and followed the rules. He wanted to get it right because he was a leader with great responsibility. And he didn’t take that lightly. His work was serious business.
But there was a man named Jesus.
Jesus taught with authority. He turned water into wine and healed the sick. Could it be the Messiah? The Promised One? At their meeting, Jesus talked to Nicodemus about being born again and about the wind.
Nicodemus asked, “How can these things be?” Jesus tries again to explain and said to him the most repeated and well-known Bible verse all over the world, John 3:16.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
But there’s more. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:17-18
I think Nicodemus thought of the words in Deuteronomy 30:6 and his heart was circumcised that day. I think he understood better the righteousness that was credited to Abraham, and the faith of Rahab. I bet each prophecy he studied through the years rolled around in his head. Ezekiel’s dry bones. Jeremiah’s new covenant.
I think the weary and heavy-laden Nicodemus felt the weight of the world lift from his shoulders and for the first time in his life knew he didn’t have to work to be good enough. He stepped out of the darkness and into the light. And he was never the same.