I was chatting with a friend recently who said that he has had a major revelation this year. He said that previously he felt his identity was wrapped up in how well he did his job and what others thought of him.
His relationships within his family were barely surviving! His major revelation happened over Easter as he realized that his identity is in Christ and in what Christ has done. The revelation came home strongly to him when he heard the words from Jesus while on the cross, “It is finished!” He broke down in tears and immediately began to alter his lifestyle choices and he is in a much better place today, spiritually and physically. Exciting stuff.
Nicodemus was a devout Pharisee who was relying on his own abilities, his wealth and on what others thought of him rather than relying totally on God. The account in John 3 records that he met with Jesus at night, perhaps fearing what others might think. He had respect for Jesus, however, he was reluctant to accept that God could do a new work in a repentant person’s life. Yet it was Nicodemus who stands up for someone in John 7:50-51. Again, after the crucifixion. it was Nicodemus who helped Joseph of Arimathea to prepare the body of Jesus for burial in John 19:39–42. The journey to follow Jesus as a devoted disciple will be different for each of us. It may be an instant change or it may take years. Some have much to give up to follow Jesus. Be aware that the “cost of discipleship” is your life (your ambitions and goals) and this can be hard for us as we are so “wealthy and comfortable” in this world. The following verse is from Matthew 16:24, ESV. Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Paul taught us with the following verse from Galatians 2:20, ESV. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”