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Nicodemus




Poems



by Tom Graffagnino

Nicodemus



"Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, 'Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.' "In reply Jesus declared, 'I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again.'"
(John 3: 1-3)

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"We Win When We surrender"
("Nicodemus!...Praise the Lord!")

Nicodemus was a winner
To the people in the land,
Well-respected and religious...
By all standards..... quite a man!

Nicodemus knew the Scriptures,
He was good...
And upright, too.
He was scholarly and moral,
And knew The Torah
Through and through.

And his righteousness?....
He earned it
By adhering to The Law.
Nonetheless he felt uneasy:
Yes,... he sensed a Cosmic Flaw.

Honest seeker...Nicodemus,
Truth he simply had to know
Why his troubled conscience
Nagged him...
And just would not let him go.

When he heard this Rabbi's teaching
He knew something was amiss.
He could see there was a problem,
And it looked like an Abyss.

He was hungry...
He was thirsty,
And to Jesus he was led...
There was something sorely lacking,
And he needed to be fed.

So that night he went there seeking...
But for what?
...He wasn't sure!
He could feel some deep infection.
Maybe....
Jesus had the cure!

And like Wise Men years before him,
Nicodemus sought the Lord.
When he found Him, Jesus pierced him
With his own Two-Edged Sword.

Christ plunged the dagger in him,
And the stab was deep indeed....
Mortal wound the Lord inflicted,
Then The Word just let him bleed.

Nicodemus must have carried
That deep cut into the night...
Wounded Pride profusely bleeding,
Since he dared to seek The Light.

There the Truth did penetrate him,
Exposing evil deep within.
Perfect Truth must lance deception
For Redemption to begin.

*************
Judged by mankind's broken measure,
Nicodemus was the best;
But when measured by The Holy,
Each of us will fail the test.

Fallen man will weigh externals:
Do's and dont's... and stops and starts,
But Jesus sees right through us,
And He strikes right to the heart.

He sees murder, lust and lying
Lurking just below the skin;
Adultery and mayhem...
Man! There's no deceiving Him!

Jesus sees our Proud Infection
Oozing out from open sores...
Those pus-filled idol moments,
Then, my God!.....
He sees some more!

He sees heart disease of Spirit,
Abcess'd souls that try to hide;
He sees Filthy Rags and Cancer...
All those Leprosies of Pride.

*************
This Physician pulls no punches...
Jesus cuts right to the chase.
He won't tell us that we're healthy,
While Death stares us in the face.

God must strip away pretensions...
Robes we wear like Pharisees,
Those rags we dare not mention
Soiled with gross iniquities.

He will slice right to the marrow,
And the fat He'll cut away.
He'll expose the Dirty Laundry,
And our cracking feet of clay.

Nicodemus felt the pressure...
...And he had no wiggle-room!
Jesus recognized the whitewash,
And the rot inside that tomb.

Yes, He knows our Grand Evasions.
He expects true honesty...
He examines hidden motives,
And unveils hypocrisy.

*************
Here we stand...
Condemned already!
Stillborn souls at barren wells...
Miscarriages of Justice
Who all swear...
"There is no Hell!"

He confronts all proud denials,
He demands we see The Sin.
Then the Message....
(He delivers!)
"Friend, you must be born again!"

Our gestation's often lengthy,
And indeed the labor long...
Birth canal?...Both strait and narrow,
When the grip of Pride is strong!

Jesus came to bring believers...
From dark dying flesh of night!
To the Spirit Dawn of Glory...
Like a newborn into Light.

*************
We must stand with Nicodemus
Before His penetrating gaze.
We must hear God's diagnosis
Before His Grace can yet Amaze!

We must contemplate His Verdict...
(And in truth it's very grim!)
God says: Guilty!....Condemnation!
As we're stained with Adam's Sin.

Nicodemus surely shuddered
When he heard the gavel fall.
Destitute and devastated!
Still...he heard the Master's Call. *

Truth lays bare all lame excuses...
Our depravity He sees.
We are masters of the "sidestep";
So, He puts us on our knees!

*************
Nicodemus dwells within us.
In each heart The Dark resides.
Lord, remove all faulty notions,
Draw us near to see your side!

All philosophies fall silent...
Mute we stand there at His door.
He's the risen Lion of Judah,
And He died that we might soar!

*************
Father, help us seek The Healer,
To approach You...one on one!
Help guide us, Holy Spirit,
To that Freedom in The Son!

Help us knock...like Nicodemus.
Give us honesty to seek.
Help us shed this prideful nature...
Bring us low and make us meek.

Show us, Lord, we're poor in spirit...
Help us see flesh vanities.
Help expose our deadly notions...
Satan's fresh insanities.

Give us broken hearts....each mourning.
Help us see The Morning Star
Shining bright when it's the darkest...
Please, Lord leave that door ajar!

Help us note the false prescription
That the flesh does offer man.
Help us know there's no redemption...
In our strength
we cannot stand.

Help us recognize the Liar
And his snare we're fallen in.
Help us realize the folly
Of denying Adam's Sin.

Help us grasp the blessings offered,
Those of Christ's Beatitudes**...
Help us know the Curse is lifted,
And that we are being wooed.

Help us claim in Christ the Vict'ry...
Slay us, Father, with your Sword.
We will win when we surrender!
Nicodemus!...
Praise the Lord!

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"We run heedlessly into the abyss after putting something in front of us to stop us seeing it." --Blaise Pascal

"I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me." (Proverbs 8: 17)

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."-- (Matthew 7: 7,8)

*************
* In John 19:39 we learn that Nicodemus had learned the lesson of the Cross.

** (Matthew 5: 3-10)



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