Title: Gospel of John [18:36-37]. Christ's trials, part 7. Before Pilate.
Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."
JOH 12:32 "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."
JOH 12:33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.
JOH 12:34 The multitude therefore answered Him, "We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this Son of Man?"
This reveals their problem of interpretation that has interwoven itself into all their understanding of the scripture. They looked at all of it from a solely earthly point of view.
They know the title “Son of Man” from the book of Daniel.
"I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
"And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.
So when they ask, “Who is the Son of Man?” they reveal the same problem. It isn’t that they don’t equate the title with the Messiah, it is that Christ is saying that the Son of Man must die on a cross. So they are confused, “What Son of Man are You referring to? It can’t be the one mentioned by Daniel for He is the ancient of days and His dominion will not pass away. How could He therefore die? What Son of Man are you referring to?” Their unbelief resulting from the stubbornness of their hearts has put a veil over their eyes.
They are unable to identify their Messiah. The Lord has been trying to tear their veil for three years and will send the disciples to attempt the same.
JOH 5:39 "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me;
JOH 5:40 and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.
JOH 5:41 "I do not receive glory from men;
JOH 5:42 but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves.
JOH 5:43 "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him.
JOH 5:44 "How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?
JOH 5:45 "Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.
JOH 5:46 "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me.
JOH 5:47 "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"
The Messiah that Moses identified in the Torah was not the same as their identification of the Messiah, which was skewed by their soulish minds. The Lamb of God was repeatedly sacrificed in the Levitical offerings and the promises to Abraham, the covenants, were forever. The Messiah therefore must die and yet still go on forever. These facts were altered in order to fit a soulish desire for self-glorification.
Is it no wonder that Christ wept over them. They were unable to identify Him, even with all that Moses wrote and all that the prophets prophesied. Jesus hammered away at these false concepts but they were unwilling to bend or break. Like the fig tree, they had the outward leaves of a healthy tree but underneath there was no fruit and so could only be cursed and not delivered. They could not identify Him so He prayed for the Father to forgive them because they did not know what they were doing.
the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory
Because of the Lord's prayer for forgiveness, Jerusalem would be given a reprieve of 40 years and they would be given disciples, the Holy Spirit, and the church during that time in order to tear the veil that laid over their eyes.
JOH 12:35 Jesus therefore said to them, "For a little while longer the light is among you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness may not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness [ignorance and arrogance] does not know where he goes.
JOH 12:36 "While you have the light, believe in the light, in order that you may become sons of light."
Being a racial Jew meant nothing without faith in the true Messiah and subsequent regeneration through the humiliation of the Messiah.
Pilate ridicules Judaism, thinking their notion of a Savior to be silly and so Pilate is fully an earthly thinker. The religious leaders have interpreted all their scriptures from a fleshly point of view and so they are fully earthly thinkers - two different ends of the spectrum but the same result. One has the scriptures and one doesn’t and they both end up in the same place.
1CO 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
The spiritual body is like our Lord’s. It is pneumatikos, of the spirit, and as those who have believed in Christ, the Holy Spirit bears witness with our new, alive, and spiritual spirit, that we are the children of God and if children, heirs of the kingdom also.
Christ’s kingdom is eternal. Even the Millennial saints, on the earth for a time, must be raised and go on into eternity as the kingdom of Israel.
Therefore in all of Christ’s kingdoms resurrection from the dead is a must. So even the Millennial reign has a predominantly spiritual aspect though it exists on the earth. Much of its population is composed of resurrected OT saints, and of course, the King Himself is resurrected along with those who rule with Him from the church - all resurrected and all Spirit filled. The believers during the Millennium will all be Spirit filled.
The Millennial Reign, though on earth, is spiritual:
"And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
In that kingdom the earthly unbelievers will rebel against the King of the Jews.
And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.
The unregenerated, those of this world, though enjoying the benefits of being associated with the Lord's kingdom, cannot be a part of it nor do they desire to. "If My kingdom were of this world they would be acting like worldly subjects."
The resurrection body will be a spiritual body. By that we do not mean that it will be composed of some intangible, vapory, illusive substance.
It will be a body in which the spiritual life of man will predominate. That is, the individual will be occupied for the most part with the things of God, His worship, His fellowship, His service, while to a far less degree will one be occupied with the soul life.
In other words, the tables will be turned. As the song goes, "Eternity's too short to sing Thy praise." This body dominated by the spirit, will be the same body as to identity which we have now, but changed as to composition and life principle. It will be a body of flesh and bones that can be felt by the physical sense of touch as we have that sense today, for the disciples handled our Lord's resurrection body with a view to investigating as to whether or not it was a body of flesh and bones as He claimed to have.