“And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight.”
When He’s really changed your life, you can’t keep silent about it anymore.
That late afternoon or early evening when Nicodemus showed up carrying around 75+ pounds of a myrrh-and-aloes mixture to be included in the folds of Jesus’ burial shroud, he openly revealed the change in his life that began that night when he talked with Christ (Jn. 3:1-21). Although he’d risen to a point of order in the Sanhedrin when they were discussing what to do about Jesus (Jn. 7:45-53), it wasn’t until the Lord’s crucifixion that the elderly Pharisee finally openly revealed his allegiance to Christ.
As someone once said, “Better late than never.”
We can only speculate what might have happened if Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathaea, who was also a “secret disciple” (Jn. 19:38), had come to Jesus’ aid after His arrest instead of waiting until after His death. But, when we realize His death had to be in order for us to be “freed from the curse of the Law” (Gal. 3:13), we know it wouldn’t have really mattered if they had.
Thankfully, Nicodemus (and Joseph) could keep quiet no longer.
And, neither should we if we, like them, are truly recipients of God’s redeeming Grace.
Oh, dear Pilgrim, too often, like the scribes and Pharisees we lie low because of “fear of the people.” Instead of courage, we have cowardice. Instead of boldness, we have bashfulness. Instead of faith, we have fear.
But, such should not be—especially if the Risen Lord lives within our hearts!
Since “perfect Love casts out fear” (I Jn. 4:18). . .and since God “hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but one of love, power and a sound mind” (II Tim. 1:7). . .we should be “bold believers,” who delight in letting others know what Christ has done in our lives.
Like the early disciples, through the “in-filling of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 4:8a), we declare “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). We may seem (or actually be) “unlearned and ignorant men and women” to those around us (Acts 4:13a); yet, when we’ve “been with Jesus” (v.13b), it won’t take long for others to notice.
And, what they’ll notice is how much we love this One Who’s changed our lives.
That’s what caused Nicodemus to throw caution to the wind and bring that expensive mixture of fragrant ingredients to place in the tomb with Christ. It was his way of expressing His gratitude to this One Who’d touched him that night like no one ever had before.
Thankfully, a few days later he’d get to tell Jesus to His Face! Hallelujah!!
Tradition and historical records would seem to indicate Nicodemus and his family suffered much after Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70. They were likely persecuted by hostile Jews and stripped of all their wealth. But, that didn’t bother this “seeker by night,” for he’d come to the Light that night (Jn. 3:16-21) and found what he’d been looking for all his life. Glory!!
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated June 6, 2010