The Story Of Nicodemus

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews” (John 3:1).

The man named Nicodemus appears only on three occasions in the New Testament, but these three reveal a most remarkable character. In a way, he has become a “type” of all those who come to Christ for salvation. This was not easy for him, both because he was a member of the Pharisees who vigorously opposed Jesus, and also because he was a member of the Sanhedrin, the governing council which would eventually vote to have Jesus executed.

First, Nicodemus was an interested inquirer, coming to seek an understanding of Jesus and His mission. Similarly, those who come to Christ today must come with an open mind and heart, willing to take the time to learn of Christ and of their own need of salvation.

The Lord told Nicodemus his need of regeneration and then of God’s gift of eternal life to those who would receive Christ and His sacrificial death. Nicodemus evidently believed, for we next see Him as a confessing convert, defending Christ in the midst of his own peers as they were seeking to arrest and imprison Him. “Nicodemus saith unto them, . . . Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” (John 7:50,51). This was perhaps a weak defense, but Nicodemus was a new convert, and even this stand was resented and identified him with Christ in the minds of these powerful adversaries.

Finally, we see him as a devoted disciple, willing to suffer the loss of position and riches for Christ’s sake—for this is undoubtedly what his action at the cross entailed. “And there came also Nicodemus, . . . And brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus . . . For the sepulchre was nigh at hand” (John 19:39–42). HMM

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