In John chapter 3:1-21, we read the story of a man named Nicodemus. He was a Jewish religious leader and a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came furtively it seems, to speak with Jesus.
He began, ‘Rabbi, we know that God sent you to teach us; your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.’ Jesus replied, ‘Unless you are born again, you will not see the Kingdom of God.’
There then follows a rather interesting and challenging dialogue between the learned man and Jesus. Nicodemus was astonished that Jesus used the term ‘born again’. He wondered aloud how an old man could re-enter his mother’s womb and be physically born again. Jesus responded by saying the kind of birth He was talking about was not a physical one, but a spiritual one. That spiritual new birth comes when a person believes on Jesus as the Saviour of the world. That individual will receive what the Bible calls eternal life. That is: a life which is qualitatively different here on earth and in eternity. It is a life that lasts forever.
It is in the context of this conversation that Jesus utters what is perhaps the best known and oft-quoted verse in the whole Bible, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him would not perish, but have everlasting life.’ That is the message of the Bible. It is a message of God’s extraordinary love for mankind. The love that compelled him to send Jesus, His Only Son, to live a perfect sinless life, and go to the cross to die a substitutionary death for all the sins of the world, so that anyone who acknowledges his or her sin, believes in their heart and confesses Jesus as Saviour, will have eternal life. That is the message of the Bible, and that was what Jesus offered to Nicodemus, the prominent Jewish religious leader. That same offer is open to you today.
We do not read in John 3 that Nicodemus responded positively to the message. However we find that in John 19:38-42, after Jesus had died on the cross, Nicodemus went with Joseph of Arimathea to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. Together they prepared and entombed His mortal remains. This tells us something significant; that Jesus had clearly impacted his life for good. The love of Jesus had transformed his life. Despite the fact he had been a high ranking religious leader, the love and person of Jesus had changed him. That same Jesus can change your life. You, too, can be born again.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2013©
If you have read this article and you are not a Christian, I would like to invite you to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord in your life by praying this simple prayer:
‘God in heaven, I acknowledge that I am sinner and deserve to be punished for all the wrongs I have done. I am truly sorry. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to this world. I believe He lived, died and rose again for my sins. I repent of all past sins and ask you to forgive me because Jesus. I confess and ask Jesus to come into my life and be my Saviour and Lord. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me to obey you and lead me to follow you all the days of my life. Thank you God for giving me eternal life through your Son Jesus. Amen!’