Nicodemus shows that when he makes a bold move, rendering himself unclean, he remains unblemished because of Christ’s love and power.

Read this excerpt from the Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible Notes to learn more.

UNCLEAN BUT UNBLEMISHED

It all started at night, when Nicodemus, a Pharisee and “a ruler of the Jews” (John 3:1) came to the Light (v. 21). Nicodemus makes three appearances in the Book of John (3:1–21; 7:50–52; 19:39–42), and by the third time, we see that the truth Jesus planted in his heart had powerfully taken root. Although Jesus had been condemned by Nicodemus’s colleagues (Luke 23:13–24), it no longer made a difference to him. He knew Jesus was the true Messiah—the hope of Israel and the world.

How do we know he arrived at this decision?

Because normally the bodies of those who had been crucified were thrown on the trash heap of the city. Yet after Christ was removed from the Cross, Joseph of Arimathea claimed His body, prepared it for burial, and then placed Him in a brand new tomb. Nicodemus was right beside Joseph. He brought myrrh and aloes and assisted in Christ’s burial (John 19:38–41).

It is believed that the spices used for the Lord’s burial were those personally belonging to Nicodemus. Instead of saving them for his own burial, he gave them to Jesus as an offering of love and devotion. John 19:39 tells us these spices weighed “about a hundred pounds,” which would have been the amount used to bury a great king—not merely a good man or a simple teacher.

Nicodemus acknowledged that Jesus is the Son of God and treated Him with great respect.

We also know that according to the Law of Moses, no priest was to “defile himself for a dead person” (Lev. 21:1) because touching the deceased body would make him unclean. Yet that also did not matter to Nicodemus, because he realized that in his new eternal life, he was completely unblemished (John 3:16).

Today, Nicodemus’s example still teaches us. We learn from him that Jesus is always there for us, night or day. We also learn that in God’s perfect timing, He will answer our most confounding questions.

Lastly, we learn that regardless of our status, nothing is more important than the life of Christ within us. And we learn that no matter how great our sacrifice, it can never compare to Christ’s sacrifice for us.

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