"Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs."
We’ve been talking a lot about that first conversation we see Nicodemus have with Jesus. He’s asking big questions and daringly contemplating the truth that first night with Jesus. But today’s passage is on a whole new level for Nicodemus. Our boy, Nick, is right there at the foot of the cross, pulling Jesus’ body down and helping Joseph of Arimathea with burial arrangements.
This is huge. Nicodemus was a public Jewish figure. And the Jews were the very people who just elected Jesus’ body onto that cross. Somehow, in a few short chapters, Nicodemus went from secretly visiting Jesus at night to publicly carrying His body to the tomb for burial. Something changed in Nicodemus. Nonbelief disappeared. Scepticism waned. Curiosity became faith. And here was Nicodemus, risking everything in this moment.
So many of us doubt the potential life change in others.
“My dad will never change.”
“My neighbor would never want to talk about Jesus.”
“My buddy would never stop partying and come to church.”
Nicodemus’ buddies would have said, “My pal, Nick, would never be seen around a guy like Jesus.” But they would have been wrong. Jesus doesn’t want us to doubt the power He has to change the lives of our friends.
So who are you inviting to church on Easter? Who is in your world that needs the life change that Nicodemus experienced? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal someone to you who you need to start a conversation with. And make that conversation about Jesus.