Over on Facebook, Pastor Rick wrote:
…if there was continuity in the constituting [of] God’s covenant people, Jesus would never have told Nicodemus that he must be born again. How dare Jesus be so pietistic as to tell a respected “covenant” member that he needs to be born again.
He echoes a question I once asked: why would Jesus tell Nicodemus that he must be born again if he was already in the covenant by circumcision?
Someone pointed out to me that “…Jesus is not talking about individual regeneration in John 3. Rather, he is talking about the need for a new Israel, a new humanity. Nicodemus needs to follow Jesus into the new world through death and resurrection. Being baptized will unite him with the disciples of Jesus, with those who are following Jesus into a new world.”
James Jordan puts it this way:
Nicodemus is brilliant. He says to Jesus, “You jest, surely. How many times have we been born again? the Flood, Sinai, Elijah, Cyrus. But it has never taken. You would have to back into mother’s womb and start over.”
“Yep,” says Jesus. “And watch me do it.”
Sure enough, Nicodemus is there when Jesus is buried back into mother’s womb. I’m certain Nicodemus knew Jesus would rise again, born anew from the soil. Maybe the disciples had doubts, but Nicodemus knew.
In union with Jesus’ resurrection we are all born anew from mother’s womb.
He also points out that John describes the tomb as a virgin:
19.41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.
(Genesis 24.16 The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known.)
Put this together with Luke’s record of Jesus vs. Sadducees on resurrection where he says that one becomes a son of God by being a son of the resurrection, and Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 about the “birth pangs” of death being unable to stop Jesus, the use of Psalm 2 (“today I have begotten you”) in the preaching of the resurrection of Jesus in Acts, the title “firstborn of the death,” Romans all over the place….
And then there is this from Biblical Horizons.
And this essay from Jordan’s “Trees and Thorns,” chapter 10.
Then Yahweh God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).
Continue reading “The Nicodemus Objection”