Well, gentleman, I guess that wraps it up for this week’s meeting of the Sanhedrin. Again, I want to thank everyone who had a hand in getting rid of that trouble maker Jesus of Nazareth. Remember to spread the word that his followers stole his body from the tomb.
So, hey Nicodemus, boy am I glad we got rid of that Jesus guy. I never heard so much malarkey in my life. Its good he did for the sake of the nation, huh, Nicodemus? Hey, where are you going? Nicodemus, what’s going on man? Look at me when I am talking to you. What’s up with you. Oh my goodness. Tell me it isn’t true, Nicodemus? Nicodemus, are you one of them?
He had a lot to loose. A Pharisee and a member of the great ruling body, the Sanhedrin. He was a highly educated teacher of the Jews and a prominent figure in the nation of Israel. He’s a changed man alright, but things weren’t always this way. You might say Nicodemus was a caterpillar of sorts.
It all started quite some time ago when Nicodemus paid a visit to a sensational young rabbi Jesus of Nazareth. He had this magnetism, the common people were coming from everywhere to hear him preach. Something about this young rabbi was compelling to Nicodemus as well. He had to meet him for himself. So under the cover of darkness one moonless night Nicodemus paid him a visit. “Rabbi,” he said, “we know you are from God, there is no other way you could do the miracles you do.” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “Born again”, Nicodemus recoiled, “surely a man cannot enter again into his mother’s womb?” Nicodemus had some serious doubts about Jesus now. He must be a crackpot of some sort. “I am telling the truth, Nicodemus,” Jesus said, “no one can enter the kingdom unless he is born of water and the Spirit. “How can this be?” Nicodemus pondered out loud. Jesus said, “You are a teacher of Israel, how can you not know this?” Nicodemus was clearly embarrassed while Jesus offered a sermonette about God sending his Son to die so that the people who believe in him will have eternal life. Nicodemus left distressed and pondering these things.
It was quite some time before Nicodemus saw Jesus again. He thought about the strange things Jesus said. “Could this really be the Son of God?” he wondered to himself. By now, Jesus had a large following among the common people. His fellow members of the Sanhedrin were afraid he would start an insurrection and the Romans forced to destroy Israel to keep the peace. They were plotting his death. Nicodemus kept silent during all this until one day he could hold it no longer. The temple guards were sent after Jesus and came back empty handed. His fellow members of the Sanhedrin ridiculed the guards for falling for Jesus’ smooth talking. Nicodemus piped up, “Doesn’t Jewish law require we hear his case before condemning him.” You see, Nicodemus the caterpillar had started to spin his cocoon. He wanted the other members to hear Jesus speak. Maybe they would be affected the same way he was.
Well, eventually the Sanhedrin had their way and Jesus was executed, a miserable death on the cross. Nicodemus was devastated. Although he kept it a secret, he was convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Son of God. He saw the sign posted above Jesus’ head. Here is the king of the Jews. An a true king he was Nicodemus said, “and as I king, he must be buried as any king would be.” He could take it no longer. It might cost him everything, his seat on the Sanhedrin, the respect of all Israel, surely everything he had ever worked for as well as any future prominence. It didn’t matter any more. It was time to recognize Jesus for who he was. No more secrets. He went with Joseph of Arimathea to Pilate himself to ask for Jesus’ body. Now everyone would find out. Nicodemus bought 75 pounds of spices, the amount normally used only for kings, and buried his Savior as the king he was. Nicodemus the caterpillar emerged from his cocoon as a beautiful butterfly of faith in Jesus. He wanted the world to know he had a Savior in Jesus.