Still more remarkable is the fact that the doctrines promulgated in his name by his followers lay stress upon the fact that his crucifixion was a part of the divine program; more than this, that his crucifixion was necessary; that by the blood of the cross, by the death of the crucified One, atonement is effected for the sins of the Church and of the world
Posts Tagged ‘ Nicodemus ’
The “hour” began at the First Advent in Israel, and Jerusalem did become a center of attraction in the beginning of the Gospel Age. After AD 69, Jerusalem lost significance for the Christian, and the worship of the Father in spirit and in truth became paramount. In the Kingdom too, Jerusalem will be the center of worship, education, etc., but it will fade out in time.
Verse 1 is a preface to the rest of Chapter 7. “After these things” would mean after the feeding of the multitudes and the subsequent explanation on the other side of Galilee with regard to Jesus’ being the bread from heaven, etc. In addition, the other Gospels tell that Jesus then went to Jerusalem to observe the Passover, after which he returned home to the Galilee area. Thus there was a six-month time gap between the end of Chapter 6 and verse 2 of Chapter 7. “Jewry” was Judea. When Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Passover, some of the Jews sought to kill him. Therefore, he did not linger there but returned home before they could make plans to apprehend him.
It is interesting that John tarried at the Cross to see these things happen, for when the soldiers came, it was after 3 p.m., the time Jesus died. Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate beseeching Jesus’ body. Joseph returned with Nicodemus and removed the body from the Cross. Thus John remained for some time after Jesus’ death. And now we can see why John felt it essential to write about Nicodemus in his Gospel (the other Gospels mention Joseph but not Nicodemus). Only John recorded the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus. Here is another example showing that all four Gospels are needed for a rounded-out picture.
“Being a disciple of Jesus,” Joseph of Arimathea besought Pilate for the body. In other words, Joseph was fully convinced of Jesus’ Messiahship before he went to Pilate, but he had not disclosed his conviction previously. Now that Jesus was dead, Joseph was strengthened in character to beseech Pilate for the body, even though doing so would make him a public spectacle—and Nicodemus too. Initially Joseph and Nicodemus, who went to Jesus secretly by night, were fearful. Both were probably on the Sanhedrin, and both were men of means.
Time is passing quickly. Life is very short. The more time we spend on problems, difficulties, evil speaking, ill will, etc., the less time we have for spiritual things. It will not be long until we are in the grave, so we should not waste time on malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, or evil speakings.
This admonition reminds us of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 5:7,8 regarding the Passover: “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Leavened bread is likened to malice and wickedness; unleavened bread, to sincerity and truth. Bread (1 Cor. 5:7) and milk (1 Pet. 2:2) are both foundation food; that is, the Christian needs to feed on pure unadulterated bread and milk as fast as possible.
Thus the laver clearly typifies baptism. We come by the brazen altar to the laver. It is not our offering, however, which entitles us to the benefits of the laver. Jesus is the altar, and by or through Jesus’ offering, we approach to be washed. Without this washing, we have no part or lot in the matter.
This discourse was given at a convention and touches on the “Eyes of the Lord.” God knows things about us and our lives and what is going on in the whole world. The scriptures says that His eyes are on the righteous and His ears open to their cry and that they are on those that fear Him and hope in His mercy. God is watching out for us.
The discourse also follows 4 examples in Jesus’ life where he knew those that were coming to him. The Lord revealed to Jesus circumstances of their lives so that when he mentioned it, they knew it was of God. Take for example: Nathaniel, Zacchaeus, Samaritan woman, and Nicodemus. It only took a word, or in Nicodemus’ instance the seeing of Jesus lifted up like the serpent as he predicted to convince them Jesus was the Messiah. We are told in Zechariah about another miraculous conversion of the Nation of Israel after Jacob’s Trouble.