IT STINKS IN THE CLOSET

Who can forget the story of Nicodemus?

It’s for good reason this skittish Pharisee has been nick named ‘Nick at Night’. Though he was quite intrigued by Jesus, he was afraid to be seen with Him. So, he snuck out in the dark for a visit. Even if you don’t recall the entire story, the sayings Jesus said to Nick are among the most quoted in the Bible. The best example would be:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

No doubt, you’ve heard those words before. Well, Nicodemus was the first to hear them.

Nick at Night with Jesus

Nick at Night with Jesus

Furthermore, it’s from this same discussion we’re first introduced to the expression “born again”. Jesus had to explain to Nicodemus what he meant by that. It’s important we understand as well. According to Jesus, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. (See John 3:3)

It seems Jesus made a believer out of Nicodemus.

He pops back on the scene towards the end of the gospel story. He comes to prepare the body of Jesus for burial. Only this time he’s not sneaking around!

“And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.” (John 19:39)

This is where Reverend Nick sticks his neck out. Being that it’s Passover, there’s no chance of him hiding behind that huge load of his. And it’s all for Jesus –to perfume and mummify His lifeless body. As fragrant as Nick’s offering is, this gesture won’t set well with his peers. He’ll be an outcast for sure. Nicodemus does have one friend, Joseph of Arimathea. They’re in this together.

Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.” (John 19:40)

I’m often asked about cremation.

To those who would suggest it’s not biblical, I would counter – neither is burying six feet under in a casket! If you really want to be biblical, I suggest a hundred pounds of myrrh, one hundred yards of fine linen and a family sepulcher.

Frankly, it really doesn’t matter what’s done to the body, at least from an eternal perspective. Once someone passes, the soul immediately relocates. What happens to its tent doesn’t change a thing. I’ve told my wife she can put my corpse out on the curb on trash day!

From dust our bodies came and back to the dust they go. If you’re a child of God, don’t worry. You’ll get a new model – one that’s built for eternity. Personally, I can’t wait. My existing one is wearing out. It has aches & pains, Worst of all; it’s not as cute as it used to be.

Back to our story…

“Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.” (John 19:41)

Because it was the Sabbath, and Passover preparation day, transporting a dead body would create multiple issues. It just wasn’t an option. Nor was it necessary. In a nearby garden, a tomb had already been prepared. I imagine Joseph paid top dollar for it. Too bad he couldn’t have rented. After all, it was only needed for a few days.

I doubt Joseph felt it was money wasted.

Whatever price he paid was small, compared to the price Christ paid on Calvary. I hope you see it that way. It’s easy to think, “I spend loads on the Lord: Time! Energy! Money! Where has it gotten me?” Listen, nothing is ever wasted on Jesus. We’ll never out-give him. Our offerings are minuscule compared to what he paid for us. Our sacrifices don’t hold candle to His.

Jesus is worth more than we could ever give.

He’s worth coming out of closet for. He’s worth living for. He’s even worth dying for. I’ll tell you something else – He felt you were worth dying for! He sacrificed Himself for sinners like us. Yes, He laid down His life. That’s how much value He places on you and me.

We’re not being asked to get religious. However, the Lord does invite us out of the closet and into a deeper relationship with Him. And you have something a whole lot sweeter than myrrh and aloe to bring – your heart. There’s not an offering in the world that would please Him more.

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