Monday, March 30, 2009

The Chronicles of Nicodemus

On Saturday, Henri Nowen’s meditation involved the actions of Nicodemus. Specifically, he stated that Nicodemus tried to walk both sides of the street by wanting to continue his role of power and influence among the Jewish Pharisees while at the same time being attracted to Jesus. Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to be born again. Nicodemus was very puzzled by Jesus’ answer.

Nicodemus shows up again by speaking up for Jesus when the Pharisees wanted to seize Jesus. His third appearance in scripture is when he and Joseph of Arimathea claim Jesus’ body, prepare it for burial, and put the body in a tomb.

You have to wonder if Nicodemus ever got it. After Jesus’ death, did he become a follower of Jesus? Did he believe in the resurrection?

These questions are addressed in Nelson Price’s wonderful new historical novel titled “The Chronicles of Nicodemus.” This easy to read book is especially appropriate at this Lenten season. After Jesus’ body goes missing, Nicodemus is still trying to put the pieces together. He and Joseph of Arimathea go about interviewing persons who were eyewitnesses to the crucifixion and the resurrection. As the reader journeys along with Nicodemus and Joseph in their search to find answers, they also find their own answer to the question: Is the resurrection of Jesus a miracle of miracles or just a tactical theft?

When you finish this book, you, unlike Nicodemus when he came to see Jesus, will be on one side of the fence or the other.

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