John 12, beginning at verse 27. "Now is My soul troubled and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this cause came I to this hour. Father, glorify Thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven saying, 'I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.' The people therefore that stood by and heard it said that it thundered, others said an angel spoke to Him. Jesus answered and said, 'This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out and I if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto Me.' This He said signifying what death He should die. The people answered Him, 'We have heard of the law that Christ abideth forever. And how sayest Thou the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?'" May God add His blessing to the reading of this His Word. You may be seated.
(Here now is John MacArthur.) Turn in your Bibles to John chapter 12. We are continuing in a study of the gospel of John. I might say this to you who are visiting, here at Grace Church we believe in studying the Bible verse by verse, and we would encourage you to bring your Bible. We are here to look at what God has to say, not to hear what I have to say. We would encourage you to get a hold of a Bible that is yours and use it and mark it up and write in it and make it a part of you. This is so important in your own Bible study. If you do not have a Bible this morning, someone near you would be happy to share with you, or else there's one in the pew rack, perhaps somewhere very close.
In our study of the gospel of John, which has been going on now for about a year, we find ourselves in chapter 12 at verse 27. Today we commemorate what is commonly called Palm Sunday, the entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem and the "Hosannas" and the "Hail the King" that mark that entrance. But as we come to our lesson in John's gospel, we are getting in just on the tail end of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. Palm Sunday has just passed with all the hosannas and all the hail the king still ringing in the ears of Jesus, we find Him now completely changing the scene. He has moved from Bethany after the resurrection of Lazarus with the great multitude of people, He has been met by another multitude surging out of the city upon hearing of the resurrection of Lazarus. This massive multitude is crying "Hosanna," and "Hail the King," and Jesus moves into the city and to the temple and there begins to speak. Jesus knows that all the hosannas and all the hails are totally superficial. He knows that the crowd is as fickle as they could possibly be. He knows that the same crowd that is now hailing Him is going to cry for His blood within a matter of days. And on the surface it looks good, but really it isn't good. We might look at Palm Sunday and get all excited and say, "Well, you know, the King is come and everybody's going to accept the King, isn't it great? Isn't it fantastic? It's about time." But that's very superficial because underneath it all is a political wish. They want Jesus to be their political Messiah, the one who will come and overthrow Rome and oppression. They could care less about spiritual things. And so Jesus cannot and will not be the Messiah they want Him to be. And when He turns out not to be, they decided to kill Him rather than hail Him. And so, Jesus as He enters the city of Jerusalem hear all of the fickle hosannas. And even though on the surface it looks good, down in His heart Jesus knows it doesn't mean anything. And Jesus is constantly haunted by the fact of the cross. He knew He was designed to be slain from the foundation of the world. He knew that every breath He took in this life was one breath nearer to the point for which He came, and that was the cross. He knew the plan that God had designed in eternity was about to be taking place in time. That for which He came into existence in terms of His humanity was about to happen. That for which He had waited throughout eternity was about to take place. And the superficial attitude of the people only nailed it down harder that indeed it was to take place.
Jesus was not a political Messiah. Jesus didn't come for political reasons. Jesus didn't come to make social reform. Jesus brought a spiritual Kingdom. Jesus brought a spiritual revolution. Jesus brought a spiritual reform to the heart of an individual man and the world didn't want it. Israel wanted oppression over Rome broken. They wanted the oppression of Rome broken. They wanted release from their captors. They wanted a political kingdom in which there was bliss and material blessing. They wanted the worldwide kingdom they thought that was promised in the Old Testament. And they thought that it was political.
And Jesus came to them and offered them no political kingdom. He offered them a spiritual kingdom. That wasn't what they wanted. And so when they were crying, "Hosanna" and when they were crying "Hail to the King," it was almost a wishful cry, it was almost a cry bathed in hope. They were hoping that Jesus was in fact their conquering hero, their great champion. And all the time they were crying "hosanna" and "hail the king," Jesus wept because, you see, Jesus knew that it was all wrong, that He never could be what they wanted Him to be. And that not only would He not overthrow Rome, but by 70 A.D. Rome would totally destroy that city and one million, one-hundred-thousand of those people would be dead. And He knew Himself that He must die. And so the hosannas must have sounded like crucify Him, to Jesus because they brought so much nearer the reality of His cross.
Now in the midst of all of the hail and hosanna, Jesus stops them dead in their tracks in verse 23 and I want you to review it with me for just a minute. They're all thinking about the kingdom and here comes the conqueror and Jesus says in verse 23, "The hour is come that the Son of Man should be glorified." He could see everybody saying, "Oh, it's here at last. Here we go. Grab your stuff, we're going into the kingdom. Jesus is going to gather His army, knock off Rome, the total kingdom is here, dominion, material blessing, prosperity. The hour is come." And then come the absolute shattering words of verse 24. How is He going to do it? "Verily, verily I say unto you, except the grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
Now wait a minute. What is all this talk about death? What kind of a conquering hero is this who is going to die?
Well that's just the point. Jesus didn't bask in their hosannas. Jesus brought the thing right down to the locus crucius(?), the key point. He said, "People, let's face it. I came to die. I was born to die. And unless I die, I can produce no spiritual life in anybody else." And so, contrary to their political aspirations, Jesus designed to die.
Well naturally the reaction would be shattering because in that one shot He had wiped out all of their hopes, all of their dreams, all of their ambitions. And undoubtedly the disciples were rattled as much as anybody because they were probably saying in their own minds, "Wait a minute, all the hail and hosanna, it looked so good, what is this about dying?" And they began to kind of wonder what was going on and it was a shattering statement that Jesus had made. And then He adds to the it the statement of verse 25, and instead of prosperity and blessing and material things, He says to them, "He that loveth his life shall lose it." If all you want is what you can get for you, you're in real trouble. "And he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." He reverses every one of their attitudes. They were hoping for blessings on a material level. He says, "Unless you're willing to give up everything on a material level, you'll never inherit eternal life." Jesus was substituting self-sacrifice, pain, abuse, persecution, poverty, suffering, maybe even martyrdom for what they wanted. What a switch. What a switch! They thought He was coming to offer them a material kingdom with great wealth and He offered them a spiritual kingdom that was physically impoverished. And so they didn't want Him and that was the key in turning their hosannas to "crucify Him."
You see, He couldn't give them a Kingdom until they became citizens of a kingdom. They couldn't enter a kingdom until they had become righteous. They couldn't become righteous until somebody paid for their sin. Somebody couldn't pay for their sin until somebody died and so Jesus had to die to pay for their sin, to make them righteous so they could have the right to enter the kingdom. So He came to die.
Well naturally when Jesus said this, a lot of the would-be disciples automatically just dissipated away and there were only a few left. And to them He said in verse 26, "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me and where I am there shall also My servant be." If you're going to be a part of My kingdom, and you're going to serve Me, you've got to go the way I go. That's all there is to it. It's not going to be a material kingdom, but if you're going to be My servant, come with Me the way I go. And right there He made the crucial test. And then He makes a promise to those who do go with Him, beautiful. "If any man serve Me, him will My Father...what?...honor." And, you know, the crowd didn't want that.
You say, "You mean those people didn't want the honor of God?" No they did not. Look at verse 43. "For they loved the praise of men more...what?...than the praise of God." So Jesus said, "If you want the honor of My Father, follow Me." The people said, "Forget it." If a man is willing to abandon everything and follow Jesus Christ, he'll become a citizen of the Kingdom no other way. They wanted a material, political kingdom, Jesus brought just the very opposite. And they decided if that's the way He was going to be, they didn't want Him. Not only did they not want Him as King, they wanted Him dead. They rejected Him for what He wasn't and only a few were left to follow Him.
And so what has Jesus done in these verses? He's announced His death, hasn't He? And it's an interesting thing because at the same time that death is on His lips and He's talking about it, down deep in His heart anguish and agony begin to stir as He realizes what He's talking about. And that we come to in verse 27. Now in these verses, 27 to 34, we see Jesus in His own mind, in His own heart grappling with His own death. This is a beautiful insight into Jesus. He is struggling with the awareness of His own death, even as He talks about it with His mouth He begins to think about it in His heart. And we see two things. We see His anxiety and His anticipation. And we also see the answer of God and the answer of the people. Those are the four points, if you want to follow you have an outline in your bulletin there. The anxiety of Jesus and then the answer of the Father, how the Father meets Jesus' anxiety. Then the coin flips a little bit in Jesus' anticipation of the cross and how the people respond to that.
Let's look at it. First of all, notice the anxiety of Jesus as even speaking about the cross He began to think about it. Verse 27 and 28. He says in verse 27, "Now is My soul troubled..." Stop there. Jesus begins to realize what this death involves. He's been speaking about His death and as the words are flowing out of His mouth, the thoughts are beginning to dive deep into His soul and beginning to twist and tear at His soul. And while He understands that His death means salvation for men, and that is joy to Him, He also realizes that His death means curse and pain and sin for Him and that is agony to His soul. So first we see Jesus' anxiety over the curse and the agony that He knows is going to take place in His death.
Now John doesn't tell us about the account in Gethsemane, the agony of Jesus there. John doesn't major on that. But here in these verses he gives us a little bit of the glimpse of Jesus struggling with His own death. He begins to feel the pressure of the hour and the extreme agony that's going to be involved and the anxiety fills up inside of Him and finally bursts out. You know, in Hebrews 12:2 the Bible says that "For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame." That's an interesting verse. Notice it. For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross despising the shame. Mark this, will you please? He did not enjoy the cross. The joy was not in dying, the joy was in contemplating the results. He merely endured the cross. Do you see it? The joy was in what it accomplished, not in dying. There's no joy in that kind of death. For this moment right here He is sensing the suffering and the enduring of the cross, not the joy in what it accomplishes. And don't you ever think for a split second that Jesus went to the cross detached. Don't you ever think that He stepped outside of His human suffering. Don't you ever imagine that He was sort of sitting up there in heaven watching that body hang on a cross. Jesus was there. He did not die indifferently. He did not die without feeling. He did not die detached. He felt every single pain that there was and every bit of the curse of sin.
In fact, if you really think about it, His death wasn't even the death of a Christian. We as Christians in the sorrow and the agony of death, we realize that all the terrors of dying have been taken care of, don't we? We realize that all our sin is forgiven. We realize that God has cancelled all the record of our iniquity. We realize that we are merely going into the presence of God. Jesus didn't have that luxury. Jesus was not dying having sins forgiven, He was bearing sin, all of the sin of all time He was bearing it. He was not dying knowing it was gone, He was dying knowing it was on Him and He was totally guilty. And He was not dying to go to the presence of God, He was dying saying, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" And not only that, Jesus' death was not the death of an unbeliever either. An unbeliever goes to death with a note of mystery, he doesn't know what to expect. Jesus knew everything that was going to be there. There wasn't even the comfort of mystery. It was the death of the vilest sinner that ever lived and every other vile sinner that ever lived and every sin of every man that ever lived heaped on one individual, that kind of death. Every sin and all the guilt on Jesus and He knew every pain and every feeling of the curse. He was to die with the world's sin and guilt and He could anticipate it standing right here in Jerusalem. He knew it was coming. And when He said, "I am troubled," the word "my soul" there is psuche, it means my person, I...I am troubled, the God/Man sensing the horrors of the cross. In fact, the writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us of the anxiety of Jesus at this time resulted in strong crying and tears as well as prayers to the Father. You see, the Bible says He was made sin. Did you get that? He was made sin for us who knew no sin, the spotless, pure, without blemish Lamb of God with every sin of every man who ever lived put upon Him. And then to die in the guilt of all that sin. The Bible says He was to bear our sins in His own...what?...body.
And here He is, He can see all that. He knows it's coming, doesn't He? And no power made Him go to the cross. Nobody compelled Him to go. He said, "I lay down My life by Myself." And though all that was inside of Him was shrinking and recoiling back from the pain and the agony that He was about to suffer, He submitted still. The sinless, holy Jesus, God's only begotten Son, was to stoop beneath the damning guilt of the world and by His own death as a man take away that guilt. He had already given great emotion over His death. Remember back in chapter 11 when He came to the tomb of Lazarus and it says He groaned within Himself? He became indignant over death. It tore Him up on the inside to see what death had done and to think about His own death. And here again you see it. Deeply moved. Later on He showed more emotion when He went to the Garden. Luke chapter 22 verse 42 and following tells us that He knelt down to pray to the Father and He sweat, as it were, great drops of blood. His whole system started to break down from the agony.
Listen, Jesus was a for real person. He was totally human as He was totally divine and He felt every single thing that ever took place on that cross. He felt every pain, every aching muscle, every torn piece of flesh, every thorn pierced His blessed brow, He felt every single dislocation of every limb and organ. He felt the stifling suffocation, the gasping for breath. He felt the flies, the dripping blood that He couldn't wipe away. He felt the naked shame, the dried mouth and lips that were cracked. He felt the parched throat. He felt it all, every bit of it. And beyond that, He felt the curse of every sin that was every committed and all of its guilt. Listen, I know people that have gone cuckoo because of their own guilt. He bore every bit of guilt from every person whoever lived.
And let me lay this thought on you. Think of this, it would have been enough if Jesus had endured it just once on the cross. But do you realize that from eternity past He knew every single detail of His crucifixion and that He must of in His mind in anxiety gone over every detail constantly, constantly, constantly throughout His entire existence and especially in His lifetime as a man. With perfect knowledge of every detail that would happen at the cross, in anticipation mentally He must have been crucified ten thousand times ten thousand. No wonder the New Testament never tells us Jesus laughed. Even in the times of great joy was the constant shadow of the cross. He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. And those nails, those nails that had gone through His hands and feet a hundred times a day, every time He looked at them. The agony of the sinless Jesus knowing that He would be stained not with some sin, but with all sin, must have torn into His soul with a relentless fierceness of every waking day. And now it's only a few days from the actual event. He suffered all the anxiety in silence for these years. He's never burst out but now He doesn't care and it's like some pressure that's built up within Him and He says, "Now is My soul troubled," and He gets it out and He doesn't care if everybody hears Him. And everybody did and we still hear it.
And as quickly as He spoke of it, He backs away from it and look what He says. Verse 27, "And what shall I say? What should be My prayer at this point? I'm troubled about My death, what do I say to God? What's My prayer? Do I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour?' Is that what I say?" He could say that, you know. He voluntarily gave His life, He didn't have to. In Matthew chapter 26 and verse 23, let me just read it to you. Listen to this. "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels?" Jesus was saying, "I don't have to die this death. If I ask My Father I'll have twelve legions of angels." "Father, should I say, 'Save Me from this hour?'" He could say that, you know. Save Himself and damn the whole world. But He didn't say it. Praise God.
What did He say? Look at it verse 27, "But for this cause...what?...came I unto this hour." I can't pray that prayer, Father, this is why I came. I came to die. I can't back out of the eternal plan now. I was born to die. So instead of praying to get out of it, look at that fabulous prayer at the beginning of verse 28, "Father," do what?, "Glorify Thy name." Listen, if My death, and My agony, and My anguish and the curse of sin and all the guilt gives You glory, Father, do it.
Jesus was totally engulfed in giving glory to God. That's right. And incidently, the Father was totally engulfed in giving glory to Jesus Christ. They had a supernatural, mutual admiration society. And they both occupied themselves with giving each glory and still do. And they deserve it. The only purpose the Son ever had was to glorify the Father. Did you know that?
You say, "Well yeah, but how does His death glorify God? How could the death of Jesus Christ glorify God?" All right, now watch this one. God gets glorified when His attributes are made manifest. Did you get that? God gets glorified when His attributes are made manifest. When God's love shines, God gets glory, right? When God's grace is understood, we give God glory. When God's mercy is understood, we give Him glory. When we understand truth, righteousness, wisdom and all those other things we give Him glory. God gets glory when His attributes are manifest.
You say, "I still don't understand how the cross gave Him glory." Just this, my friend, the greatest manifestation of the attributes of God in history took place on the cross. Was ever the love of God more clear? Was it? That was it, wasn't it? Was ever the wrath of God against sin more clear than at the cross when He slew His own Son? Was ever the justice of God more clear than at the cross when He went to the extent of His own Son to take care of sin? Was ever the grace of God more clear than when He substituted Jesus for you? Was ever the mercy of God more clear than on the basis of Christ's death He forgave you and me? Was ever the wisdom of God more clear than in such a master plan as that? Every attribute of God became singled at the cross in one event...Jesus death. And God knew and Jesus knew that by His death God would be glorified. Not only that, but do you know that there's only one way that you can I can glorify God? And that's by accepting Christ's death on our behalf, isn't it? So if Christ didn't die, we couldn't give God glory. Since He did die, all kinds of men from all over the world through all the ages glorify God. God gets glory in the cross.
So the Father is to be glorified whatever the cost to the Son. That's the kind of divine love the Father and the Son share. And so, in the horror of Jesus' death is the glory of God displayed.
Isn't it beautiful that Jesus just wanted to glorify the Father? As I told you many times, that's what it's all about, isn't it? The glory of God. We need to follow the example of Jesus like Paul said, "Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink," the most simple thing you do, whatever you do, "do it all...what?...to the glory of God." That's the only reason we exist. So Jesus must die because it gives the Father glory.
You see, if you had the life of Christ without the cross, the life of Christ would be a joke, be impotent, powerless, meaningless. It had to be the cross.
Secondly, not only do we see the anxiety of Jesus but let's see how God answers Him, the answer of the Father. This is beautiful. Jesus is troubled. Jesus is in anguish. And look how the Father replies, so beautiful, powerful. "There came there a voice from heaven," this is audible now, friends, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.." Imagine...whew...right out of heaven. Here's all these people standing around. Instantaneously God responds to Jesus. Now there's only two other times in the New Testament when God spoke audibly, both of them had to do with Jesus Christ. His baptism and His transfiguration, both times God said, "Thou art My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Here's the third time. Why only three times? Watch this, the times that God spoke audibly from heaven were times when He wanted to authenticate the Son. Jesus was stating something to be a fact and God was making it authenticate and putting His stamp of approval on it.
In other words, at the baptism of Jesus, Christ was being prepared for His ministry, right? How important that the people know that this one was indeed the Christ of God? So to make sure that everybody knew, God just said, "Yes, this is My beloved Son." Right out of heaven said God. God was authenticating Jesus at the beginning of His ministry. Then when Jesus went up in the Mount of Transfiguration and revealed His glory, God said yes indeed. You see it, don't you? This is My beloved Son, see His glory. And here again, crucial time. Why? Because the disciples had hopes of a Kingdom, didn't they? They had hopes of Christ being exalted. They had hopes of Christ becoming the King. And now He was talking about dying and the disciples could have just been falling apart. And so the Father is saying, "Yes, He's going to die, but don't let that make you think He's not My Son," see. In other words, God speaks again to authenticate and build up the faith of the disciples which must have been kind of dissipating at this point as Jesus talked of death.
Well you know that when those disciples heard that voice out of heaven, they perked up their ears again. And they remembered, "Yes, yes, He is from God. Yes, God is authenticating Him. Yes the plan is on schedule. Yes God has been glorifying Him and He'll do it again." And John writes it down, I believe the only ones who understood the message were the disciples and I believe they heard it and understood it. I believe that. The rest of the crowd didn't understand it. They did. "The people, verse 29, therefore that stood by and heard it said that it thundered, others said an angel spoke to Him."
Isn't it interesting? They didn't know what was going on. They said, "Oh, it must be going to rain." "Sound like an angel talking up there." That was a little better. God said, "I have glorified it." What did He mean by that? Listen, God had glorified His name through the whole life of Christ, hadn't He? Miracle, after miracle, after miracle, after miracle God says, "I have glorified My...My name in your life and I will glorify it again in your death and resurrection." Listen, God had been glorified. Remember back in chapter 11 verse 40? Oh Martha was getting worried when Jesus said, "Take away the stone," she said, "Don't take the stone away, my brother stinketh, he's been dead for four days." Jesus saith unto her, "Said I not unto thee that if thou wouldest believe thou shouldest see...what?...the glory of God." God's going to display His glory and He did a minute later when Jesus said, "Lazarus, come out!" and he did. Listen, God said, "I have glorified My name in every mighty sign, deed and miracle that Jesus did." And He said, "I'll glorify it again in your death." And the people thought that thunder was going on and some of them thought an angel was talking.
But, you know, that's nothing new because people never do really hear the voice of God. People say, "Well, why is God silent?" Listen, God is not silent, men are deaf. And, you know, there was a time when the Jews believed that God spoke directly. Back in Samuel's day, remember that? To little Samuel on that occasion to the high priest, in the case of Samuel, then Elijah. Well, you know, so many times in the Old Testament. Then the Jews by the time of Jesus' day believed that God didn't speak anymore. It had been 400 years, no prophet. They believed in bothcall(???), you know, which means the daughter of a voice. Maybe once in a while God whispered a little echo, but it wasn't really anything tool significant.
Well this wasn't any bothcall, this was God thundering out of heaven distinctly speaking and communicating to authenticate the Son. As I say, the people didn't really understand it. You remember when Paul in chapter 9 of acts when God stopped him and spoke to him that the people didn't know what was going on. Over in chapter 22 verse 9, Paul reflecting back on that and he says, "Nobody understood what the voice said." Typical, so typical. And Jesus said back in John 8:43, "Why do you not understand My speech even because you can't hear My word?" The unbeliever can't even hear the Word of God, he doesn't understand it, no capacity. Oh the typical skeptics trying to give it a natural explanation, "Well, must be a storm gathering up there." And then you've got the mystical guys that say, "Well, maybe the angels are talking." And both of those kinds of attitudes show how necessary it was for Jesus to die, wasn't it? They couldn't even understand God. I believe the disciples heard and understood because of verse 30. "Jesus answered and said, 'This voice came not become of Me but for your sakes.'" Who's He talking to? Well I think primarily to the disciples. They were the ones that needed to be built up in the faith to understand that even though He was going to die, He was still the Messiah.
Now Jesus didn't need to hear the voice of God audibly. Jesus needed some comfort and some strengthening at that point, but He didn't need to hear the voice of God audibly. God could have comforted Him within, He didn't speak for Jesus' benefit. I think He was speaking primarily to the disciples who needed to be strengthened.
So we see the anxiety of Jesus. And you know what His comfort is? His comfort is the knowledge that God's going to be glorified. Is that good? That is good. You know, that whenever you go through anxiety and trial and temptation, you know what your comfort can be? That in all of this...what?...God can be glorified. Whatever you suffer. Jesus was saying, "I don't care what I go through if God's glorified. Father, glorify Yourself in Me, whatever." Paul said, "Whether by life or death, right? Glorify Christ." It doesn't matter what happens to us as long as god gets the glory.
So we see the anxiety of Jesus comforted in the fact that the Father is glorified. Then the whole thing switches and we come to the anticipation of Jesus in verse 31. And this is very simple here but beautiful. Now Jesus forgets about the suffering side of the cross and starts thinking about the salvation side. Now He stops thinking about enduring the cross and starts thinking about the joy that's set before Him, see. And all of a sudden terror becomes triumph and the blessedness of His Father's voice has reminded Him of the glories of the cross. And now rather than seeing the suffering, He takes off in verse 31 and it's beautiful.
Notice the triumph in His voice. "Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out and if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto Me." That's triumph, isn't it? "This He said signifying what death He should die," John puts that little P.S. in there. Jesus said, "I'm thinking about the great victories of the cross."
Victory number one, look at it in verse 31, "Now is the judgment of...what?...this world." The crisis had come. The probation of the world was over. The doom of the world was sealed by the rejection of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on that cross, it looked like the world was the winner and Christ was the defeated. But I'll tell you right now, the world lost and Christ was the victor. The world was judged when Jesus died. The Jewish people who rejected Him were judged, the leaders who condemned Him were judged. Judas who betrayed Him was judged. The Roman soldiers who mocked Him were judged. Pilate who sentenced Him was judged. The whole society of evil men aligned against God were judged. Everyone who crucified Him and still crucifies Him afresh and puts Him to an open shame is judged by the cross of Christ. The whole Christ-rejecting world is at the crossroad at the cross.
You say, "Well is that the only reason Jesus died, to judge?" No, that is not. That is not the reason Jesus died. I want to show you John 3:17. "For God sent not His Son into the world to judge the world." The word "condemn" and "judge," the same word. "For God sent not His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be...what?...saved." That's why He came. Now watch this. "He that believeth on Him is not judged." All you have to do is believe on Him and you're not judged. He didn't come to judge, He came to save you. All you need to do is believe. "But, he that believeth not is judged already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
In other words, He came to die to release you from judgment, but if you don't want Christ, then you're judged by what you do. So simple. Chapter 12 verse 47 says, "If any man hear My words and believe not, I judge him not." He didn't come to judge. "For I came not to judge the world but to save the world." Then the next verse, "He that rejecteth Me and receiveth not My words hath one that judges him...what?...the Word that I have spoken." In other words, Christ...if a man rejects His Word and His death on the cross, that in itself judges the man.
I've illustrated it before. If I take you to hear a Mozart musical thing, whatever you call them, symphony or something, and I don't know what Mozart wrote, but anyway, if I took you to hear Mozart or Bach or somebody else who wrote some classical great pieces of music and we go in there and we sit down and we hear the whole thing from beginning to end performed by the greatest orchestra, you know, and master musicians and it's all over and you say, "Ah, that stuff is lousy. That guy didn't even know what he was doing, he should have taken a couple of extra classes in music. I'll take the Led Zeppelin any day. I can't...that stuff is real poor music."
Well, you know, the answer is obvious. Friend, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven are not on trial, you are. The case is closed. They are the world's greatest musicians, you judge yourself by how you respond to their music. The case is closed on Jesus, did you know that? The only thing left is the case on you and by what you do with Jesus you don't pass a verdict on Him, you pass a verdict on yourself. "He that believeth not is judged already." Why? "Because he hath not believed." The world has tried Christ. They found Him wanting and so they killed Him. So the world's on trial now because Christ came out of the grave and proved Himself to be the victor. And whether the man believes it or not determines his destiny.
So, you see, Jesus is starting to anticipate the cross with the triumph in His mind, not terror anymore. And He realizes that the sinful, godless, Christ-rejecting world is going to be judged and the power of evil is going to be broken. And you know why He's glad about it? Because He fells the sting of death and He ells the tremendous intrusion of sin into the world and He is praising God that finally the cursed world is going to be judged, see. And form then on Jesus saves His people out of the world, doesn't He? The cross is the crux, the world and every man in it will be judged with what He does with the cross of Jesus Christ. If you deny Jesus Christ and refuse to believe in His death for you and refuse to receive Him as Savior, you judge yourself and sentence yourself to an eternity without God. So by killing Jesus the world pronounced its own doom and it lost the right to exist.
Then there's a second thing that He thinks of in the triumph of the cross, not only is the judgment of this world taking place, but now shall the prince of this world be cast out. This is terrific. You know, the prince of the world is Satan. Well if the world goes, so does he, right? If his domain goes, he's going to go. And the biography of Satan is a constant pattern of being thrown out. He gets thrown out of everywhere. Everywhere he goes he gets thrown out. First of all, right here he loses the right to rule. You say, "Well, he's still around." That's right but he's operating from death row because sentence is passed, the execution just hasn't taken place. And he gets thrown around.
I want you to see Satan get thrown around a little bit cause I like to see this. Chapter 12 of Revelation verse 10...verse 9, backing up so we get the setting here, says, verse 9, "And the great dragon was cast out...right on schedule, that's the same thought, thrown out...that old serpent called the devil, Satan who deceived the whole world." Naturally if the world goes, he goes. "He was cast out into the earth," that is he used to be around the earth, you know, in the heavenlies, but by the time of the Tribulation he has war with Michael and Michael and the angels defeat him and throw him out of heaven and it's big hallelujahs in heaven, naturally. "And his angels were cast out with him and I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, 'Now is salvation strength...etc., etc., for the accuser of the brethren is cast down." All right, so first he gets thrown out of heaven, and he lands in the earth. Well he doesn't stay around there too long because God picks him up and throws him again in chapter 20 verse 3, "The devil and Satan is cast into the bottomless pit and shut up there and a seal is set upon him that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled." So he's thrown into the bottomless pit for a thousand years and he only stays there a thousand years. And at the end of the thousand years he gets thrown out again. This time permanently, verse 10 of chapter 20, "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone and there was tormented day and night forever."
So, you see, the biography of Satan is a constant getting thrown out. He started by getting thrown out of heaven originally, didn't he? He winds up by landing at the bottom, the eternal hell. And all the way along the line just gets thrown out. And it all revolved around the death of Christ because, you see, Satan aligned all his armies, all his forces, everything he could get he put on Jesus, all the sin, all the guilt, everything he could throw and Jesus came bursting right back out of the grave again. And that's all Satan had. He shot all his guns and it didn't do the job. And that's the end. Satan's power is shattered because of Jesus Christ. And the rest of his biography is a step-by-step casting out. When Jesus died on the cross, friends, Jesus finished Satan.
Listen to this. Hebrews 2:14, "For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same." That is, just like children are flesh and blood, Jesus became flesh and blood. Watch this, why? "That through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil." And He destroyed him. He ruined him. And the rest of his biography is a constant pattern of casting out. And because of that, for a believer Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no judgment to them who are in Christ." The world was judged, Satan's thrown out.
Then the third great triumph of the cross, "If I be lifted up from the earth and will draw all men unto Me," and John says that was to signify the kind of death, crucifixion, He was lifted up. Jesus says, "If I'm lifted up on a cross, I'll draw all men to Me." Remember back in John 3 when He said, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up?" Jesus had to die. He had to die. And when He died on that cross, His death became the magnet which drew men to Him. And from Him they were placed into the care of God. Jews, Greeks, learned, unlearned, educated, uneducated, cultured, uncultured, every age, every strata, all types and classes of men from all over the world, Jesus began to gather the elect from the cross. And as He was lifted up, He drew them to Himself.
Who are these "all men"? They are the much fruit of verse 24 that His death provided. They are that body of elect believers that the Father has given to the Son as a love gift. All the saints of all the ages were drawn to the Father and to Christ in His cross. Do you know there's no access to God or Christ without the cross? He is unapproachable, He is untouchable without the cross because the cross, you see, pays the penalty for our sins and purifies us in the eyes of God so that we can enter His presence. Oh the blessed Christ.
His anxiety became anticipation, you see, because He saw in the cross the glory of God, the overthrow of the godless world. He saw in the cross the end of Satan and the drawing of all His own to Himself. And He saw all that and that was all gain and He put the gain over here and He put the purchase price of His own blood and His life over here and He balanced it out and He was content to pay the price, to die the death. Oh blessed Christ.
It would have been nothing for Him to just set up the Kingdom. That wouldn't have taken anything. But to die and to suffer all of that. You say, "Well, you know, that's wonderful. People must have just been so thankful. They must have said, 'Boy, Lord, wow, isn't this wonderful? We'll believe in You.'" Well look at the answer of the people in verse 34, what did they say? Typical. "The people answered Him, 'We have head out of the Law that Christ abideth forever.'" Our Old Testament teaches us that our Messiah, Christ, Christo, Christos, anointed one, same as Messiah, we have heard that our Messiah is going to reign forever. I mean, what's all this about dying, see? Which has always been taught to us that our Messiah is going to reign forever. O really? Well what about Daniel 9:27, "Your Messiah will be cut off." No, they didn't think about that. What about Zechariah chapter 12, I think it is, and verse 7? It's not...I'm guessing wrong, but anyway, I shouldn't guess like that. But nevertheless they're thinking, of course, that everything in their minds, anyway, everything is connected with an eternal Messiah. Everything is set up on an eternal basis. I just remembered, I think it's chapter 13. Right? "Awake, O sword, awake, O sword, against My Shepherd and smite the man who is My fellow," saith the Lord of hosts, "Smite the Shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered." Now there's a prophecy that the Shepherd would be smitten. What about Zechariah 13:7, what about Daniel 9:27, Messiah will be cut off, and what about Isaiah 53? They still don't know what to do with Isaiah 53. Listen, it's in there, it's in the Old Testament, Messiah will die, it's there. And they're thinking, remember now last time, they're thinking of Daniel 7:13 where the promise was that the Son of Man would come and set up an everlasting kingdom. And so they're saying, "We know that ours is going to live forever." And then they're teeing on this Daniel prophecy about the Son of Man who Messiah is called from Daniel 7:13 and they say this, the middle of verse 34, "How sayest thou the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" In other words, what Son of Man do you think you are? Our Son of Man is coming for an eternal Kingdom. What is this death stuff? What Son of Man are you? See, it's just sarcasm, mockery. They mock Him. "Who do You think You are, some Son of Man You are? What Son of Man? You're not the Son of Man in Daniel 7:13 and 14, He came for an everlasting dominion. What Son of Man are You?"
You see, the Jewish people never could understand the cross. That's why the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1, "We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews...what?...a stumbling block." And that's why in Acts 17 Paul had to preach that Christ must needs have suffered.
There you are. Christ's anticipation and anxiety. Two answers, the answer of God-glory, the answer of men-mockery. Isn't it interesting that God glorifies what men mock and men mock what God glorifies? Did you know this? God's ways are not men's ways. What it is that God glorifies, men mock. Tragedy...tragedy.
The choice is yours, my friend, just as it was for the Jewish leaders in verse 43 of chapter 12, choose it whether you love the praise of men or the praise of God, whether you want to glorify God with Jesus Christ or whether you want to mock Him and be responsible for judging yourself.
Our Father, we thank You this morning again for teaching us through Your Word. We thank You for the insights we've gained this morning into the person of Jesus Christ. Father, I pray right now for anyone here who has never received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. O, God, may they not mock what You glorify. May they not be in that position of condemning themselves because of refusing Jesus Christ. I just pray right now, Father, that Your Spirit will work a miracle of grace in hearts right now. And, Lord, those of us who are Christians that we may see the dedication and commitment of Jesus Christ to His death in a fresh way that may tear into our hearts and breed in there some gratitude that we've never even known before. May thanksgiving be in our hearts for such a marvelous thing as the willingness of Jesus to die for us. Father, bless us as we close our service, this morning, may there be decisions in our hearts as a result of Your truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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