LISTEN TO COME AND SEE! CHAPTER 3 – A SECRET MEETING
Welcome to this special Easter edition of Redeeming the Chaos with Laurie Christine!
A FAMILY DEVOTIONAL FOR EASTER
For 30 days leading up to Easter, I will be reading to you from my easter devotional book, Come and See! 30 Family Bible Stories for Easter.
Today, I am reading Come and See! Chapter 3 – A SECRET MEETING.
Come and See! invites families of elementary-aged children to experience firsthand the anticipation, the sorrow, the tragedy, the fear, and the ultimate triumph of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Through the eyes of six eye witnesses, you will be led on a journey through the busyness of the streets of Jerusalem, to the despair of Golgotha, and finally to the celebration of the empty grave.
This book includes 30 short devotional stories, each with accompanying Scripture references and questions for discussion and imagination.
We are going to be reading one story each day leading up to Easter. You’re welcome to grab the kids and listen together for your family Bible time. Or, if you would rather read to your kids on your own, you can DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY OF THE ENTIRE EBOOK HERE.
LISTEN TO COME AND SEE! CHAPTER 3 – A SECRET MEETING
READ COME AND SEE! CHAPTER 3 – A SECRET MEETING
A SECRET MEETING – Told by Nicodemus, A Pharisee
I’ve been a secret follower of Jesus for some time now. I am also a Pharisee. The Pharisees are a group of religious leaders that make sure the Jewish people are following the laws of the Torah… as well as just a few other laws we’ve added ourselves.
I have seen Jesus perform miracles, heal the sick, and even disrupt our worship ceremonies in the temple, claiming that God is his Father! The priests and other religious leaders were furious when Jesus flipped over tables, dumped out money boxes, and opened the cages of animals waiting to be sacrificed. He had gone too far. Growing tired of Jesus causing trouble and challenging their traditions, they began to make a plan to kill him.
But I wanted to know more. I could see there was something different about this man. I had listened to him teach in the temple many times about the Kingdom of God. I decided to talk with him in person.
Awhile back, Jesus agreed to meet me at night so that none of the other religious leaders would know what I was doing. I was sure the other Pharisees wouldn’t approve. But I was curious about this man who claimed to be the Son of God.
As I walked to meet Jesus that night, my heartbeat grew faster and my palms began to sweat — partly because I was excited to talk with Jesus, and partly because I was afraid that someone would see me. I ducked into the shadow of a building as I made my way to the spot we had agreed to meet.
I found Jesus sitting under an olive tree. He rose to greet me and give me a kiss, a common greeting between Jewish leaders.
“Teacher!” I greeted him. “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.”
“Welcome, Nicodemus,” Jesus said with a smile. “I’m so glad you requested this meeting. I’m eager to hear what’s on your heart.”
I was nervous, but I decided to jump right in and get to the point. “Rabbi,” I asked, “I know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miracles are proof that God is with you. But I don’t understand your teachings about the Kingdom of God. Can you help me?”
Jesus’ answer surprised me. I’m not sure what I expected to hear, but it was not these words: “Nicodemus, if you truly want to see the Kingdom of God, you must be born again.”
What? I have to be born again? What did that even mean?
“So, you’re saying that I have to go back into my mother’s womb and be born again as a tiny baby?” I asked. That didn’t make any sense to me at all.
Jesus chuckled. “No, no. When I say you must be ‘born again’, I mean that you must receive the life that only the Holy Spirit can give you. Your mother gave you physical life when you were born into this world, but the Holy Spirit gives you spiritual life when you are born a second time — when you are born into the Kingdom of God.”
I still didn’t quite understand. “How is this possible?” I asked.
“Let me explain it another way. Every person on earth is born with the sickness of sin in their spirit. The Son of Man who came down from heaven (that’s me), has come to bring life and healing to your diseased and dying souls. Everyone who believes in the Son of Man will have life in the Kingdom of God that never ends.”
Whoa. That was a lot to process! I had heard the title “Son of Man” before. Having studied the scriptures, I knew that the prophet Daniel had referred to the Messiah — the Promised Child, the one whom God would send to rescue his people — as “one like a son of man.” He would be given power and authority over all the nations and his Kingdom would never end.
So, Jesus is calling himself the Son of Man? I mean, I knew he was sent from God, a prophet for sure, but was he really the Promised Child we had been waiting for?
Jesus continued, “I want you to understand, Nicodemus, how much God loves you. God loved the people of this world so much that he sent his only Son to earth, to live among you and to set an example for you. Whoever believes in the Son will never perish, but will be given life — true life that lasts for all eternity. I will save people from their biggest problem of all — a heart that is sick with sin.”
As I walked home in the darkness of the early morning, I had a lot to think about and process. Could it be that Jesus was the Messiah? Such bold claims he was making! Was he truly the Son of Man who would rule our nation forever? And what was all this talk about being born again? I was beginning to understand, at least a little bit…. In order to be part of the Kingdom of God, I needed the life that only the Holy Spirit could give me. What was it he said? “Everyone who believes in the Son will not perish, but will have life that never ends.” Well, THAT is the kind of life I wanted.
* * *
After Jesus disrupted the worship in the temple, the chief priests and elders were tired of him. They feared that Jesus would take their followers away from them, which indeed, he was doing. Countless times, Jesus had made the Jewish religious leaders look like fools, and they wanted to get rid of him. Not only that, but after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, there was so much excitement among the people, the priests worried there might be a revolt.
The high priest, Caiaphas, called us all together to discuss what to do with Jesus. As a Pharisee, I was included in these council meetings. I wanted nothing to do with the plot to kill Jesus, but I also didn’t want to make it obvious just yet that I supported him, so I kept quiet. The priests decided to capture Jesus secretly. They didn’t want the people to riot.