John 12:31- 33 “Now is the judgement of this world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself. But He said this, signifying what kind of death He was about to die.”
Judgement is a subject no one likes, in Human terms when you talk about this subject, the lovers of sin and self quote the only scripture I think they know… ( Matt 7:1) “Judge not lest you be judged”. But in Gods terms the actual principle is (John 7:14) “Judge – but with a RIGHTEOUS judgement . You can judge ONLY when you are righteous in Gods eyes first. Human judgement is not what we celebrate each week, the judgement of God is the greatest happiest most thrilling message we will EVER hear and today I will attempt to explain why.
We get the idea that Gods judgement is…
- When the world ends and every man stands before God.
- When YOU die. It’s the end of the world and judgement day for you.
- There’s no judgement – when your dead your dead and then nothing after that.
But, the lord Jesus here tells us exactly when the judgement on mankind was… it was 2000 years ago (John 12:31) – “NOW” is the judgement of this world… and this verse will be the focus for today. The New Testament (apart from the book of Hebrews) was written in Greek. The Greek word used here for “ judgement” is “krisis” and it means “a separation”. We can all have crisis situations in our lives and they usually involve separation. Whether it’s being separated from loved ones through divorce or bereavement, or separated from your livelihood such as redundancy, or a potential separation through sickness. A crisis in our lives is usually bad and normally involves some kind of separation. In John 12, Jesus is discussing his impending journey to the cross. He was about to give up His life, this cross was not a surprise, the cross was a crisis (separation) point of the Saviour in many ways. I want to focus today on the crisis of the cross.
Separation from sinners
John 12:33 – “He said this, signifying what kind of death He was about to die.”
The cross represented a crisis point of separation between the Saviour and sinners for though He was man fully, he was not infected by the curse of sin that affects us all. Only He could save mankind. Although He lived and worked in the world, He was not of the world. He was separated before the foundation of the world. The Bible tells us (Romans 3:23) that “…ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Jesus was separate from us in that as the Son of God He inherited no sin from any earthly father and was spotless and separate for this very work. Mark 10:45 “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Our Saviour knew all along why he came to world. He separated Himself for this purpose… He gave His own sinless life to give you the chance of eternal life. The cross was HIS crisis and he accomplished it all for us.
The cross was also a crisis for the Lord because in the cross He was separated from His Father for the first time in all eternity. There was a moment when God turned away from Jesus and the Lord cried out in Matthew 27:46 “…my God my God why have you forsaken me” It was a crisis because He was not only alone from any support from mankind, He was alone and separated from God. This was done for you and me, what a Saviour He is. We really should love the Lord with ALL our hearts and souls and minds and strength for He surely is worthy of our love.
John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.” Some translations say “I will draw all men” and this is a true implication but the text reads that Jesus said I will draw all to me. And the first thing this means in the context of judgement and separation is that the Lord Jesus draws all SIN to himself. He carries all the sins of all men and draws ALL of Gods wrath and judgement and the separation that you and I deserved on himself.
1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, indeed being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit”. Jesus our wonderful Saviour drew ALL of Gods wrath against sin that He might reconcile us to God – He died that we might live. He separated mans sin problem once and for all. At the cross the justice of God is FULLY satisfied. God never lets a single guilty soul off with anything… Everything will be paid for. The simplest sin such as gossip is enough to take you to hell. BUT sin was separated from EVERYONE who is willing to trust in Him, for Jesus DREW ALL SIN to Himself when He suffered on the tree. He took the full wrath of God against sin when He was cursed for us so that God can bless us who are now free from sin and free to come to God (Galatians 3:13). As far as God is concerned there are now no barriers of separation. If we choose to separate ourselves from self and sin, truly repent and ask the forgiveness of God in light of what Jesus did and if we believe this is true we can receive forgiveness and cleansing just for the asking. God can now receive ANYONE who comes to Him through Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 7:25) At the cross, Jesus has provided separation for mankind from the sin that kills.
The cross is a crisis (separation) point for SATAN. John 12:31 “…now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” At the cross the Lord Jesus destroyed the destroyer. At the cross Satan was
defeated, disarmed and doomed. The liar, deceiver and destroyer of men, women and boys and girls is defeated at the crisis point of the cross, separated to an eternity in hell. He now has no authority and no power over the believer, Christ has separated this and stripped away it all. Colossians 2:15 “Having stripped rulers and authorities, He made a show of them publicly, triumphing over them in it.” The picture the apostle uses was common for Roman generals trailing the defeated in the victory parade. The devil is real, but is a defeated enemy and has no place in the believers life but now this victory needs to be enforced in the life of the believer and broadcast to get the message out. The war is over. Jesus has dealt with every problem we ever had including the one who was the source of them. The enemy has been separated, singled out, and doomed. Let’s remember that though the enemy is defeated, he still broadcasts the lie to people all around us, our families and friends. After the end of the second world war Americans had great difficulty in the pacific islands telling people that the war was over. They didn’t believe them and thought it was all a trick and refused to submit and trust the message and instead clung to a doomed regime. In this respect the war is still on. People need to be shown that it’s true. We need to realise, beyond all doubt, that the victory is ours through Christ and enforce the victory using the authority we have as followers of Christ. Jesus has judged sin and the devil, and man needs no longer be a stranger to his creator, but instead can now know Him as the greatest saviour and friend we will ever have and can know his peace.
The cross is a crisis point for society. John 12:31 “Now is the judgement of this world…” There were assembled masses at the cross who thought they were witnessing a “Roman” judgement – and humanly speaking they were. But ETERNALLY speaking (in Gods terms) they were witnessing their own judgement for ALL there were in the dock and ALL were dying. Humanly 3 people were judged by men that day, all were corruptly judged. In John 12, the Greek word used for “world” is “kosmos”, and the word means an “orderly arrangement of things” by implication the creation around us. Why is it that when the saviour has drawn all sin to himself so that Gods wrath could be poured out on him, that men over the world will not come to Him for forgiveness? Your life can have order and everything sorted and in place, but God says the crisis point in your life is the cross, and whether we ignore it or not, God will judge every man and woman in this world at the cross.
In Matthew 27:22, the Bible tells us that the Roman governor Pontius Pilate called out to the crowd “…what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” HERE IS the ULTIMATE CRISIS POINT for our lives…. What will YOU do with Jesus who is called Christ? You can hold onto your sin, your accusations, you can settle with the rest of society like the crowd here and look on, or you can stop accusing Jesus and instead, receive Him. When Jesus died, He hung between two criminals (Luke 23:32 ) One blasphemed Him saying IF HE WAS the Son of God why didn’t he “get him off the hook”. On the other hand the other man submitted to the fact that he was at the FINAL CRISIS POINT in his life where death was about to SEPARATE ETERNALLY from this world and everything he knew. Yet at this point the man saw that point of his life’s end and instead of focusing on clinging on to his life in this world he took the time to prepare himself for life in the next world and in a moment of clarity and perhaps for the first time in his life he stopped thinking about his desires and needs and “considered Christ”, “this man has done nothing wrong” – notice the separation occurring in this mans own heart – he recognised his own unrighteousness and Christ’s goodness. These two men hung on each side … one went into a certain future ” TODAY you WILL be with me in paradise” the other did not. Both were condemned men. When you come to that ultimate crisis point of your life – when you draw your last breath and become separated from this world – are you SURE that your on the right side of the separation? Are you SURE that you are Christ’s? Death promises to SEPARATE YOU from this world but listen to this promise from Him who cannot lie. Romans 8:37-39 “But in all these things we more than conquers through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God is not waiting for us to come to the judgement place AFTER we die, he wants us to see that the judgement on our sin has ALREADY taken place. We are either separated TO Him or we will be eternally separated FROM Him. It’s your decision how you will be judged…condemned with the rest of society or forgiven at the cross.
Separation by Adam Attribution License