John 12:31                           What Will Ye Do With Christ?                              2/26/2017      ßà   

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1.      The Tenth Day of Nisan (Ex 12:14,1-6, Heb 3:19)

 

 

 

 

 

#2.      Now Is the Judgment of This World (John 3:17,16, 1John 2:15-17, 2Cor 5:19, Joh 17:9)

 

 

 

 

 

#3.      The World of Fallen Man (John 12:31)

 

 

 

 

 

#4.      What Will Ye Do With the Son of God? (Matt 22:42, John 10:4, Heb 2:3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to John 12:20 (2X). The Lord Jesus made here the statement that the hour of His suffering had arrived. And what triggered this utterance of Jesus? It was the inquiry of Greeks that they wanted to talk to Jesus. They were Gentiles who had converted to Judaism some time ago, and now they had come to Jerusalem to fulfill one of the requirements of the Law of God that all the males should appear three times each year before the Lord: at the Passover feast, at the feast of Pentecost, and at the feast of Tabernacles. And now they wanted to talk to Jesus

Joh 12:20 ¶  And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:

Joh 12:21  The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.

Joh 12:22-23  Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.             And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.

Joh 12:24-25  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.     He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Joh 12:26  If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Joh 12:27-28 ¶  Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.                        Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

Joh 12:29  The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.

Joh 12:30  Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.

Joh 12:31  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

Joh 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Joh 12:33  This he said, signifying what death he should die.

The Greeks wanted to see Jesus. Philip and Andrew brought Him the message. And this triggered in the Lord Jesus the awesome response that He gave in verse 23, “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified”. He is speaking about His crucifixion. Why did Jesus react to that news about the Greeks in this particular way? He is reminded of the fact that, in addition to the few Jews who are going to be saved, there are multitudes more of Gentiles who are going to be saved and whose sins must to be paid for. The Lord Jesus is reminded of the enormous suffering He had to endure, and the Lord Jesus is reminded of the glory that is waiting Him after those sufferings have been endured. And then the voice of the Father was heard from heaven. This was very significant. Only three times in the life of the Lord Jesus was this voice of the Father heard: 1st at His baptism by John the Baptist where Jesus was commissioned for His ministry, 2nd at the Mount of Transfiguration when Jesus was strengthened for His impending suffering and death, and 3rd here four days before His crucifixion. What was so special about this day? Well, this was:

#1.      The Tenth Day of Nisan (Ex 12:14,1-6, Heb 3:19)

It was the tenth day of the first month. Put a sticker here in John chapter 12, and please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Exodus 12:14 (2X). There we read about God’s ordinances concerning the feast of Passover. The exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt was a grand picture of God’s salvation of His elect people out of their bondage to sin and Satan. It was only a picture, or a shadow of salvation. Most of them were not actually saved, because most of them died in the wilderness in unbelief (Heb 3:19). With unbelief in their hardened hearts it meant that they were not saved. In Ex 12:14 we read, ”And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever”. Did you see that? Forever! Did God mean what He said? Absolutely yes! Why don’t we celebrate the Passover today? It is because the Passover was a bloody feast: the Passover lamb was killed. After Christ shed His blood there may never be a bloody ceremony again. Therefore God established a new Memorial that replaced the feast of Passover, and that is the Memorial of the Lord’s Supper, which we are celebrating today. Please drop down to verse 1,

Ex 12:1-2 ¶  And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,     This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

Ex 12:3  Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

Ex 12:4-5  And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

Ex 12:6  And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

I want you to see the time references here. Verse 3: In the 10th day of the first month they had to select a particular lamb and set it aside to be the sacrificial lamb. This day marked the beginning of the Passover ceremony. Verse 6: On the 14th day of the first month they had to kill it, not in the evening, but the Hebrew text says “between the evenings”, which means between sundown and sundown. The Lord Jesus ate His last Passover supper with the disciples in the year AD 33, on Thursday evening, when the 14th day of the first month had just begun after sundown. Most other Jews killed their Passover lamb on Friday, which was still the 14th day of the first month until sundown, and they ate their Passover meal that evening. And thus, they killed their Passover lamb at the same time that the Lord Jesus Christ hung on the cross. From this apparent coincidence we see that it was ordained by God all along. Christ is the true Passover Lamb who redeemed His elect people out of the house of bondage to sin and Satan, and leads them out. All the millions of Passover lambs killed during the 15 centuries prior to Christ’s sacrifice were only pictures, signs and shadows of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice. And when was this Passover Lamb selected, or dedicated? It was on the 10th day of the first month. In AD 33 when was that? On the 9th day of the first month, on Sunday, was the triumphal entry of Jesus in Jerusalem, when all the people shouted, “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord”. This was the 9th day of the first month. We can read about this in John 12:12-19. Please turn again to the Gospel according to John 12:20 (2X). The commotion of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem lasted all Sunday. Then the next day, which is Monday, the 10th day of the first month, came the Greeks to see Jesus. This was also the day when the Father selected the Lamb of God for His Passover celebration. And thus, at the same time when the Jews made their selection of Passover lambs God the Father publicly announced His selection of His Passover Lamb. This 10th day of the first month marked the beginning of that last legitimate Passover feast. And that is why the Lord Jesus exclaimed in verse 31, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out”. It did not mean “Now, this instant”, but it meant “Now are the wheels set in motion to judge this world, and Now are the wheels set in motion to cast Satan out of heaven”. What does it mean that Jesus said,

#2.      Now Is the Judgment of This World (John 3:17,16, 1John 2:15-17, 2Cor 5:19, Joh 17:9)

Did He not say that He did not come to judge the world but that the world through Him might be saved? Please turn a few pages back to John 3:17 (2X). The Lord Jesus said in John 3:17, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved”. Is Jesus contradicting Himself in John 12:31? Of course this is impossible. God cannot lie. But what is this world of which the Lord speaks? We must understand that the word “world” has many different meanings. We cannot quote the Bible at random on this point. Many people understand that the word “world” simply means “all men”. That is false. As we can see, it leads to contradictions, and thus it leads to declaring God a liar. And then the crucial question becomes, “What will ye do with Christ?” since the Bible determines who your Christ is. Will ye pick and choose the verses that ye like, or will we try to harmonize the whole Bible? Of course, what God desires is that we harmonize the whole Bible.  And so it is that we must interpret the word “world” in different ways, depending on the context. Two major meanings of the word “world” stand out: One is “God’s world”, and the other is “fallen man’s world”. #1, God’s world is the world of God’s elect that Christ came to save, as we can read in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. This is the world that God loves. God does not love the wicked. God does not love those who are going to pay for their own sins in Hell. Nowhere in the Bible can we find a verse where God loves the reprobate. God bestows His love only on His elect, only on those who were in Christ from before the foundation of the world. God’s world encompasses only God’s elect. This is the world of His everlasting good pleasure, the world of His love, the world He purposes to save in Christ. #2. We read about the world of the reprobate in 1John 2:15-17, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever”. That is man’s world, the world of sinful man, motivated through and through by enmity against God, full of corruption and unrighteousness. And this world is not the object of the love of God, and may not be the object of our love. On the one hand we read about God’s world in 2Cor 5:19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation”. On the other hand we read about man’s fallen world in Joh 17:9, “I pray not for the world”. These two worlds are temporarily one, just like the wheat and the chaff are one; since all are by nature in Adam, and thus all are under sin and under the wrath of God. But God saves His world out of the world of man, and God saves His world in the way of judgment and of justice.

#3.      The World of Fallen Man (John 12:31)

When the Lord Jesus declared, “Now is the judgment of this world”, He spoke of “the world of fallen man”. Man was originally created king of this earthly creation, in order that with all things he might serve his God. But man rebelled against God, allied himself with the Devil, and ever since performed the will of the Devil and he subjects all things into the service of sin and the Devil. This is the world as it always has existed since the fall of Adam, and we can clearly see it in our day. It is a world that in all its power and might, in all its knowledge and presumed wisdom, in its commerce and industry, in its science and arts, always has been without God and in opposition to God. This world with its pride and self-exaltation, its trust in man and its trust in the wisdom of man, its hatred of God and of one another, its covetousness and lust for power only serves the glory of man. It is a world full of the lust of the flesh, full of idolatry and adultery, full of profanity and deceit, full of striving after pleasures and treasures, and also a world full of strife and debate, full of unrest and revolutions, and full of wars and destruction. And also it is a world where the self-righteousness of man, and the self-asserted goodness of man, and its man-made religions are highly exalted as the noblest things of man. For always that world, with all its iniquity and corruption, puts on a cloak of righteousness and goodness, and with all its hatred it speaks of love, and with all its injustice and shedding of blood it speaks of its own justice. That beautiful, and mighty, and powerful, and glamorous, and boasting, and self-righteous, and proud, and thoroughly corrupt world, is that painted and adorned harlot of Rev 17 whom the Lord has in mind when He said, “Now is the judgment of this world”. On the Last Day when all who still are in “the world of fallen man” will be cast into the Lake of Fire, not one of the saints will shed a tear, because that world has been serving Satan since its inception. When this world will be faced with the question, “What will ye do with the Son of God if He stands before you as a helpless man?” Then this world will answer with one accord, “We will surely kill Him!” Let us look at the record. When the Lord Jesus declared in John 12:23, “The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified”, He spoke of an hour of Judgment when this evil world was well represented. You see, when the world rejects and kills the Son of God, it may not be represented by a tribe of ignorant cannibals, or by a ragtag band of savage criminals. On the contrary, the very best, the most just, the noblest and the wisest of mankind must be delegated to that court of justice where the world will judge the Son of God, but where in fact the world will be judged and condemned. The cross of Christ may not be erected in some forsaken corner of the world, but it must be exhibited in the very center of the world. That center of the world, in the fulness of time, was Jerusalem in the year AD 33. If anyone would have asked at that time, where do the wisest and most religious people live? They would answer: “In Jerusalem”. Not in decadent Rome where even the senators are evil, and not in Greece where people adore prostitutes in idolatrous temples, but in Jerusalem which housed a magnificent temple specially dedicated to the worship of their one and only God. Jerusalem, the only place in the world where people have a monotheistic religion, which they practice for 1500 years. Jerusalem, where the wisest men live, and which has the capacity to send 70 wise men to Alexandria to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek. Jerusalem, where the scrolls of the wisest prophets were kept, prophets who had talked with God directly. Jerusalem, it was there and then that the whole world of al ages appeared in all its culture and civilization, in its wisdom and human philosophy, in its power and human justice, in all the splendor of its natural light, but also as it stood in the pride of her rebellion against God. It was the world at its best. Was there ever a moment in the history of the world more favorable for the world to appear before the bar of highest justice? There were the chief priests, and elders, and scribes, and Sadducees, and Pharisees, the theologians of those days, the men that knew the Law of God and who scrupulously kept it. There was the official court of the Roman Empire, famous for its knowledge of what is just and true among men. There were Herod the Tetrach, and Pilate the Roman governor, the representative of Roman justice. And there were the Jewish people, whose were the covenants, and the promises, and the lawgiving. And all these constituted “the world” of which the Lord Jesus speaks at this time, and that is about to be judged, and whose prince will be cast out.

#4.      What Will Ye Do With the Son of God? (Matt 22:42, John 10:4, Heb 2:3)

In what sense is the hour of Jesus’ condemnation by the world, and His suffering and death also the judgment of the world? You see, through the suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ the world was put on trial. In Matt 22:42 the Lord Jesus confronted the world with the question: “What think ye of Christ. Whose Son is He?” And then Jesus clearly showed that the Christ must be the Son of God. And through His entire public ministry for three and a half years the Lord Jesus clearly revealed that He was that Christ, and that He had come to witness the truth, and that He was the Light of the world in a world of darkness. And so, when this Christ in the hour of His trial stood before the world as a weak and helpless man, without power and without defense, the world faced the question, “What will ye do with God’s representative, with the Son of God, if He should stand before you in the form of a helpless man?” O, the council did not like this public trial. For it was their intention to kill Jesus secretly, without any formal trial or judicial procedure. And it must not be on the feast day. All publicity must be avoided. But this was not God’s plan. The Lord Jesus had to be tried publicly. For clearly and definitely they must answer God’s question: “What will ye do with the Son of God?” And so, their plans were frustrated. What was the cause of their dilemma? There was the raising of Lazarus, and the resulting growing popularity of Jesus. There was on Thursday evening the Lord’s dismissal of the traitor Judas Iscariot, who was now forced to do quickly what he had sold himself to do, by the sudden exposure of his hypocrisy in the upper room. And thus God arranged it so that not in secret, but in the way of a public trial by all the world, not in a forsaken corner of the world, but in the most public place of all the world, Jerusalem, and on the choicest of all times, on the feast of Passover, the whole world was placed before the question: “What will ye do with the Son of God?”. And all the world answered with one accord, “If we can ever get hold of God we will surely kill Him! Away with Him! Crucify Him!” And so, that world whose mask of culture and goodness had been torn off, and had been exposed in all its vileness and wicked enmity against the living God, on that world God poured out the vials of His wrath. When Christ strove to the place of execution, He carried His own whom the Father had given Him, His own world, of which He had been appointed the head from before the foundation of the world. Has He not said to His own sheep, “he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice” (John 10:4). This is how He goeth before them, to Calvary. And what does He accomplish there? To redeem His own, He, the Lamb of God, must take away the sin of His world. And there, on Calvary, He must bear all the suffering and the agony of the wrath of God to the bitter end. To justify the righteousness of God He must bear the equivalent of an eternity in Hell or else the payment would not be complete. He made that cross the altar upon which He brought the prefect sacrifice of Himself. “God was in Christ, reconciling His world to Himself”. And so, after His burial, and after His resurrection, the world of God’s eternal love in Christ Jesus our Lord emerged from the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea. The world of all His people, a remnant from all the tribes and tongues and nations of the world, were redeemed at the cross, sins paid, and righteousness distributed freely to cover all their sins. The payment for the liberation of God’s world was fully made. All their sins were judged in Christ, were paid by Christ to the full satisfaction of God, and so their judgment was fully dealt with. But what about the other world, “the world of fallen man”? The answer is that al those within “the world of fallen man” were also judged on that day for all the sins they were going to commit, sins whose guilt has not yet been paid to the full satisfaction of God’s infinite justice. And therefore on the Last Day every one of them has to face the question: “What have I done with Jesus, who is called the Word of God? What have I done with the Bible?” And the answer comes without fail: “You have neglected the Bible, the Word of God. You have twisted the Word of God. You have neglected the real Jesus”. And God will say, “Did you not read Heb 2:3”? There you would have read, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him?” O yes. This world is certainly out to kill Jesus, if they can get a hold of Him. They will kill His Word first. And already do we see that His Word is choked off by the distribution of Gnostic Bibles, and by worship practices that are absolutely abominations in God’s sight because God forbids them in His Word.

But to all who find themselves in the world of God’s elect, God assures us that the Lord Jesus Christ by His obedience fully satisfied for our sins, and obtained for us an eternal righteousness for that New World, whose eternal Prince He is. And by the power of the faith He gives unto us, we turn away from the world that is judged and condemned, and we are liberated from the bondage to the prince of the power of the air. And so, even now we have become servants of righteousness under the leadership of the Prince of Peace. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.         AMEN.

Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.