So, I thought a lot about the devotional for today. Our James reading focuses on humility. Good study! Jeremiah shows us God’s sovereign judgement. Ecclesiastes confused me too much. Therefore, the thoughts for today land squarely on some of my most favorite verses: John 3:1-15.
Thoughts of Nicodemus and his nighttime adventure always led to calvary for me because it was Nicodemus who helped Joseph of Arimathea care for the BODY. (John 19:38-42)
The revelations Nic received in John 3 simmered in his soul and boiled over in his public display of LOVE when the Lamb of God shed blood to cover all the world’s sins. This Pharisee, well-schooled in all things Jewish, clearly grasped the ‘Heavenly Things’ of which Jesus spoke in the darkness.
We focus on the ‘born again’ message that night; as rightly we should. However, the verses that shout TRUTH to this learned man are also found in verses 10-21.
Jesus begins with a challenge in verse 10: “Art thou a Master of Israel…” I see The Lord with a comforting arm around the shoulders, as they slowly walk around the darkened courtyard in the evening breeze.
I see Jesus gesture to the gently moving branches as he so artfully uses the creation to further explain the wind of the Spirit. And he asks, “If I have told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?”
Then the revelatory verses 13-15 jump right off the page and send my mind to spinning along with our Monotheistic Pharisee friend. Here I imagine our Lord taking a step away from Nicodemus as he gestures heavenward, earthward and back to the heavens, turning to face him fully as the story unfolds; and pausing for effect as the revelations burst forth.
“AND no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”
He then brings the Moses Serpent-on-a -pole scenario to remembrance as he unfolds the power of belief and eternal life.
What causes the profound revelation for Nicodemus and for us, is that beautiful illustration in verse 13. No man goes up except the one that came down and, in fact, is still up. The fulness of the Godhead is all in him! Nicodemus got it! He saw the body of God and he talked face to face with him. No wonder he carried 100 pounds of aloes and dressed the holy sacrifice that day!
Let the revelation sink deeply into our hearts and let us Glorify the God who chose by incarnation to pay the price he himself required once for all. And let us be a people that ‘doeth truth’ (verse 21) now and forever.
PS Nicodemus is in that great cloud of witnesses cheering us along. Can’t wait to meet him!