“Nick and Joe save Easter”
- A Pharisee that was also part of the ruling council called the Sanhedrin
- He would be what we consider a Senator today.
Joseph of Arimathea
- Prominent member of the ruling Council (Leading Senator)
- Rich man from Judah town of Arimathea
- Book of Luke tells us that he was waiting for the Kingdom of God.
John 3:1-2 1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
John 3:4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
John 3:5-7 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
If God is spirit…
- Then man must be able to be of spirit to be able to live with God.
- Man cannot get to God through any physical action, because there needs to be a spiritual birth.
- Jesus surprised Nicodemus by saying “You should not be surprised at my saying you must be born again”
- It is very evident that this smart religious leader is confused.
John 3:9-14 9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.”
Moses story (Numbers 21)
- Israelites wandering in the desert after leaving Egypt
- They began to grumble and become impatient with Moses
- God sent a plague of venomous snakes that invaded the Israelites.
- People were getting sick and dying
- The people came to Moses begging for Moses’ prayer of deliverance
- God told Moses to make a bronze snake and place it on a pole.
- He lifted up the pole and anyone who looked at the pole was healed.
- Jesus made a self predicting prophecy – “So the son of Man must be lifted up”
John 3:15-16 “that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
16 “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.”
The Pharisees and the Jewish religion was based entirely on performance to earn God’s salvation.
Ephesians 2:1-5 1 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Here may be the moment when Nick and Joe realize what is happening:
- When Jesus was raised up on the cross.
- Nicodemus probably remembered that Jesus compared himself with the bronze snake in the OT.
- These guys knew the Scripture of the coming Messiah. They had to memorize these passages.
Isaiah 53:4-6 4 “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
What would normally happen to the body of a crucified person.
- They would let the body hang n the cross and start rotting.
- Then they would put the bodies in a wheel barrel and dump them in a mass grave in the valley of Gehenna.
John 19:38-42 38 “Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.
40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.”
- They sacrificed their profession
- They sacrificed their finances
- They sacrificed their image to give Jesus a proper burial
No one was expecting Jesus to rise Sunday morning even though he told them it would happen.
- The ladies went with spices to finish the burial process.
- Mark 16:3 “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”