A member of the ruling council of the Sanhedrin, he was well versed in the scriptures and believed in the God of his fathers. He knew a Messiah was promised to save his people, but Jesus didn’t seem to be what they expected. Other than the fact that He performed miracles and spoke the truth of God, Jesus was a simple man from Nazareth – nothing spectacular – certainly not the King they’d waited for. Still there was something about Him that drew Nicodemus to Him.
He visited Jesus under the darkness of night, being sure not to be seen. Was he ashamed to be seen with this man? Perhaps, because of all the turmoil He was creating in the temple. Still he asked questions. It soon became apparent that this man was from God, but the words He spoke about being born again confused him.
A man couldn’t possibly re-enter his mother’s womb and be born again. Even this very intelligent man of God thought being close to God had something to do with what he could accomplish. Jesus soon made it clear that He was talking about submitting to God completely – the only thing necessary was to believe.
John 3:16 “For this is the way God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Nicodemus later went on to defend Jesus by insisting that a trial be held before Jesus was judged. Of course, a trial occurred, but it was anything but fair.
After Jesus death on the cross, Nicodemus, along with Joseph of Arimathea, another member of the council, went to claim Jesus’ body and give Him a proper burial. Nicodemus provided the expensive embalming spices. His final gift to the One who could cause rebirth.
How often do we hide our love for Jesus for fear of persecution? Do we let our intellect get in the way of our faith? As soon as we try to take control of our salvation, we are denying Christ and His power. Are we really much different than the participants in Jesus’ Passion?