The Conversion Of Nicodemus
Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, the "chief priests and elders of the people," most of whom were responsible for the false charges that resulted in the Crucifixion of The Messiah. But Nicodemus repented (as did some of the others, before, during, or after the act, including another Pharisee, named Saul i.e. see Was Paul Among Them?). Despite the "grave" danger to himself, Nicodemus, along with Joseph of Arimathaea (another repentant sinner; a wealthy man whose grave was given to Christ, thereby fulfilling another prophecy i.e. "53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death" Isaiah 53:9 KJV), boldly claimed the dead body of the Messiah:
"19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
19:39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 19:40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
19:41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 19:42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand." (John 19:38-42 KJV)
"Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night"
The conversion of Nicodemus came about from an encounter (i.e. Nicodemus "at the first came to Jesus by night") that He had with the Messiah during which two of the most famous quotes from the Holy Bible were created. The first was the "born again" teaching (see the Fact Finder question below). Notice how Nicodemus admits that members of the Sanhedrin knew that He was from God i.e. "we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him."
"3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (John 3:1-8 KJV)
The second famous Scripture verse was produced in Jesus' further explanation of "born again," the John 3:16 verse "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
"3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." (John 3:9-21 KJV)
Later, while the Council was beginning to plot the murder of the Messiah, Nicodemus urged them to not do anything illegal. His conversion was in full progress at that point. Their obvious parting occurred when the others went ahead with their criminal conspiracy, while Nicodemus not only became a Christian, but by helping to place the Christ in the tomb from which He would be "born again" after three days and three nights, became a Christian that actually applied the "born again" teaching by means of his faith in the LORD's Word.
"7:50 Nicodemus saith unto them, he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,
7:51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?" (John 7:50-51 KJV)
Fact Finder: According to the Holy Scriptures, what does "born again" actually mean?
See Born Again, How and When? and Conceived Again
Copyright © Wayne Blank