"Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.John 12:31(NASB)
For three and a half years, the Lord Jesus was on a journey towards a pivotal point in the history of humanity when the world would be examined and found wanting. It was God's appointed time for this fallen world system to be judged and for Satan, the illegitimate ruler of this earth, to be cast out. The hour had come for God's terrible verdict to fall upon a world that spurned God's offer of salvation and rejected His only begotten Son - it was the time that the prince of this world was to be deposed.
This was the hour that Jesus would be glorified through the sacrificial offering of Himself on the Cross. This would be the time when Christ's actions would also bring glory to His Father in heaven. This was the point on the timeline of eternity when "judgment would be made upon this world system, and the ruler of this world would be driven out." And as for Jesus, this was to be the occasion when He would be raised up on a sacrificial Cross by mankind and highly exalted by His Father in heaven, for Jesus declared, "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself."
Six days before the final Passover, Martha of Bethany prepared a meal for Jesus at the house of Simon the leper. Her brother, Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead was there, and Mary - their sister who had anointed the feet of Jesus with some very expensive oil of spikenard, was also present. Jesus knew that the pivotal point in the history of the world had finally arrived. Jesus knew that the singular intersection between time and eternity had arrived.
He knew that the hour of His death, where He would be lifted up on a Cross and glorify His Heavenly Father, had arrived. The fragrant perfume of the ointment that Mary poured extravagantly over His feet filled the air - much to the chagrin of Judas. But it was revealed to all who were present, that because of Mary's humble action, the body of Christ had been anointed for His burial - for the hour had come for the world to be judged. The moment had arrived when the ruler of this world was to be cast out.
God's appointed time had arrived and the Lord Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, as the crowds cried out in unison, "Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord. HOSANNA!" - SAVE US. The crowds hoped that this miracle worker from Nazareth would save them from Roman oppression and they strew palm branches in His path as a token of their excited expectation. They were anticipating a golden reign of peace and prosperity but ignored the need to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
For generations, the Jews had expected a conquering hero to ride onto the world scene and remove them from the slavery which had cloaked the entire nation in deep distress, since the Babylonians enslaved them. But Jesus did not come as a man of war, riding on a white charger. He did not come as a mighty warrior to conquer the worldly rulers of this material world. Jesus came as the Man of Peace preaching a message of peace: Peace with God for all who believe, and the peace of God to guard their hearts. He had come to save them from their sin and to bring in a heavenly kingdom, rather than the earthly one for which they yearned so deeply.
As the Seed of Abraham, He had come to His own people through the kingly line of David, as Scripture prophesied. He came to redeem Israel and to be crowned King of kings. He came to claim His rightful place as the God-ordained, legitimate Ruler in Jerusalem, but throughout His ministry, Jesus was rejected and despised by His own people - the Jews. He was born to be a Man of sorrows Who was acquainted with grief. He was born to die as the sacrifice for sin so that by faith in HIM they could be saved from the penalty of sin and receive life eternal. They wanted an earthly kingdom, not a heavenly one. They wanted physical healing, not spiritual healing. They wanted salvation without the Saviour... but the price of sin had to be paid in full and so the time came for judgment to come upon this fallen world so that the ruler of this world could be cast out.
Not only was Jesus the Son of David Who was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but He also came to be Saviour of the entire Gentile world. Wise men had sought Him at His birth and Greeks asked to see Him as He faced the most challenging time of His life - death on the Cross. The Lord Jesus knew that before He would wear the glorious crown as Israel's Messiah and before He was honoured as Saviour of the world, the price of sin had to be paid, and so judgment was decreed upon this wicked world when the ruler of this world would be stripped of his authority.
Jesus had to face death on the Cross alone for you and for me, because He is the only sacrifice for the sin of the world and the judgement of God was to fall on HIM instead of us. Praise God that HE loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes on Him would not perish but have life everlasting. But woe to those who choose to reject His offer of salvation for they are already condemned and judged - because they chose not to believe in the eternal Son of God.
Heavenly Father, how I praise and thank You that Jesus came to earth to die on the Cross and be judged in our place so that by faith in Him I might be forgiven of my sins and identified with His perfect righteousness. Thank You that through Him both the penalty of my sin has been paid and also the power of sin, Satan, death, and hell was broken at the Cross. Help me to keep the eyes of my heart on the Lord Jesus, and may I grow more and more like Him with each passing day. This I ask in Jesus' name and for His dear name's sake, AMEN.