Daily reflections from the Bolton Circuit
Rev Hilary Howarth and Pastor Chris Holmes
Thought for the Week
John 7:50-51 One of the Pharisees there was Nicodemus, the man who had gone to see Jesus before. He said to the other Pharisees and Chief Priests, ?According to our Law we cannot condemn people before hearing them and finding out what they have done.?
John 19:39-42 Nicodemus, who at first had gone to see Jesus at night, went with Joseph of Arimathea, taking with him about one hundred pounds of spices, a mixture of myrrh and aloes. The two men took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices according to the Jewish custom of preparing a body for burial. There was a garden in the place where Jesus had been put to death, and in it there was a new tomb where no one had ever been buried. Since it was the day before the Sabbath and because the tomb was close by, they placed Jesus’ body there
We read of Nicodemus on three occasions in the gospel of John. In chapter 3 when he goes under darkness to meet with Jesus and we have the passage about being born again, with possibly the most famous verses in the Bible ? ?For God so loved the world?..? As the gospel moves on we see a change in Nicodemus. While the other religious leaders have already began their campaign against Jesus, Nicodemus wants to know more. He wants to know who Jesus is and why he?s come. He is someone in search of important answers.
We next come across him four chapters later when those same religious leaders are plotting their course of action to arrest Jesus and it is Nicodemus who speaks up to questions their integrity and points out the injustice of their plans. It may have been easier for Nicodemus to remain quiet, but he didn?t do that.
We finally meet Nicodemus after the death of Jesus when he and Joseph of Arimathea collect Jesus? body and bury it in a tomb. The myrrh and aloes was a cost gift from the men.
Christian tradition has it that Nicodemus was martyred at some point in the first century and in some countries around the world he is remembered as a saint.
The story of Nicodemus fascinates me as we see how his story moves on, He goes from a cautious undercover meeting, to making a stand in Jesus? defence. Then finally doing something practical and costly for Jesus after his death. This was a time that we know the male disciples had nearly all scattered and abandoned Jesus. Meeting Jesus made an impact on Nicodemus and we see how his life was being transformed through that initial encounter and beyond.
When we look at our own lives can we see where our personal encounters with Jesus have changed and transformed us? I love hearing people?s stories of how they came to faith but what I most enjoy is not only hearing what God has done in our lives when we were children in Sunday School or as we were growing up, but what God is most doing in our lives right now. What has God done in your life in the past week? Can you see where your encounter with Jesus has changed you more into his likeness? Nicodemus started out in one place and ended up in another, I always hope that is the same for you and me
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for the way you worked in the life of Nicodemus and how meeting Jesus changed his life forever. May I clearly be able to see where I have been changed during my journey with Jesus and may I be able to speak of what you are doing in my life right this minute. Amen.