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The Consequences of Prophecy-
The Politician Who Hid in the Shadows, but Saw the Light

While the concept of a corrupt self-serving politician is a universal icon, the righteous civil leader seems to be illusive. While Christ was publicly accosted many times by the religious and political heads of the region, one came under the cover of darkness. Rather than attack Jesus, this man wanted to know the secret to Eternal Life, and ended up witnessing the fulfillment of the Prophecy of the Resurrection of the Dead.

After Jesus had cleared the Temple courts of the money changers during the First Passover of His Ministry, He continued to preach and perform signs and many people began to believe in Him (ref. John 2: 13-23). One of these believers was Nicodemus, a Pharisee, who were known for their insistence on setting themselves apart from things and people they considered unclean.

Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do apart from the Presence of God.”

Christ understood what question was truly in Nicodemus’ heart and replied “Truly, I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above”.

But this puzzled Nicodemus, who answered, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?”

Christ clarified, “Truly, I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. You shouldn’t be surprised at my saying ‘You must be born again’. Doesn’t the wind blow wherever it pleases? You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit”.

Nicodemus was still left jumbled, asking “How can this be?”

Jesus challenged him, “You are Israel’s teacher and yet you do not understand these things? We speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen, yet you still do not accept our testimony.”

Trying to help Nicodemus understand His frustration, Christ continued, “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; why would you believe if I speak of Heavenly things? No one has ever gone into Heaven except the one who came from Heaven-the Son of Man”.

Alluding to the famous scene in the Wilderness to help explain His Point, Christ explained, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the Wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have Eternal Life in Him”.

Answering Nicodemus’ silent question, Jesus famously quipped “For God so loved the World that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have Eternal Life”.

Challenging the prejudiced views of the powerful Pharisees who thought the Messiah was sent to judge and destroy Israel’s neighbors, Christ followed, “For God did not send His Son into the World to condemn the World, but to save the World through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the Name of God’s one and only Son”.

Recognizing that the Pharisees awaited the Messiah to serve as Judge over the Earth, Christ declared, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the World, but People loved Darkness instead of Light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and will not come into the Light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the Truth comes into the Light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (ref. John 3:1-21).

Nicodemus would remember Christ’s words concerning Light and Truth during a future confrontation that Jesus would have with the Pharisees.

Over a year later, during the Fall Festival of Sukkot, Jesus’ signs and wonders had the Jewish worshipers at the Temple wondering if He was a prophet or indeed the long anticipated Messiah. But there was division amongst the crowds which extended to the Chief Priests and Pharisees. They were in a rage and questioned why none of the temple police had arrested Jesus when people started to speculate about who Jesus was.

The guards replied, “No one has ever spoken the way this man does”.

The Pharisees criticized the Temple guards’ inaction, challenging, “You’ve been deceived by him too?! Do any of the rulers or fellow Pharisees believe in him? No! But these fools who know nothing of the Law-there is a spell upon them”.

Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus at night during His first Passover, was amongst the Pharisees who heard the guards’ testimony and postulated “Does our Law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”

His fellow Pharisees tried to embarrass Nicodemus for the region he grew up in and where the majority of his landholdings were. Galilee was on the northern border of Israel next to their Gentile neighbors and because the land was near non-Jews, people from the region were considered unclean for living so close to Greek and Romans.

“Aren’t you from Galilee, too?” the Pharisees taunted, “Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee”.

But, they were wrong.

Despite their years of learning, their prejudice against outsiders had blinded them to basic Truths. Several prominent prophets had indeed come from Galilee: Micah (ref. Micah 1:1) (from Moresheth-gath, in Galilee), Elijah (ref. I Kings 17:1) (from Gilead), and Jonah (ref. II Kings 14:25 & Joshua 19:13) (from Gath Hepher, also in Galilee).

Though Nicodemus did not side with his fellow Pharisees concerning who Jesus was, Nicodemus did believe in the Resurrection of the Dead, which the Pharisees defended against their rivals the Sadducees, who did not believe in the Resurrection, nor angels, nor spirits (ref. Acts 23: 6-8).

On the final day of the Festival of Sukkot, the Pharisees brought forth a woman caught in adultery. When they tried to trick Jesus into condemning her, Jesus famously replied “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone” after which the crowd of blood-thirsty Pharisees began to leave one at a time, till all had left. After dismissing the woman and telling her to leave her life of sin, Jesus addressed the people, reminding Nicodemus of the conversation they’d had over a year ago.

Christ declared, “I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life” (John 8:1-12).

It was at this moment that Nicodemus fully confirmed his belief that Jesus was truly the Son of God and the Messiah.

Around five months later, Christ triumphantly rose his friend Lazarus from the grave after four days. The report of Lazarus’ resurrection from the dead, filled the chief priest and Pharisee’s with a greater desire to kill Jesus. But Lazarus’ resurrection from the dead, confirmed Nicodemus’ belief that even if they succeeded in killing Jesus, He would not remain in the grave (John 11; 12:9).

A few weeks later, during the beginning of the Passover Ceremony, Jesus was killed.

After Jesus’s Crucifixion, His Body was taken by Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus, who had followed Christ in secret because he feared the Jewish leaders. Nicodemus the Pharisee, who had also believed in Christ in secret, brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds, and they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices, in strips of linen, in accordance with Jewish burial customs at the time, and placed His Body in a new tomb (John 19: 38-42).

Three days later, Nicodemus’s belief was confirmed when “the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people” (ref. Matthew 27:52-53).

While Nicodemus had to conceal his belief in Christ, just like Joseph of Arimathea, he was able to see past the prejudices of his fellow Pharisees and recognized that Jesus was the Messiah. While he remained in the shadows, he saw that Jesus was the Light of the World, and was the first resurrected. As more and more Christians begin to see the Power of God working through His Believers today, we are excited to share in the emergence of those who have shed their previous religious expectations and fully participate in what God is doing prophetically in this Age.

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

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