John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but you will see me. Because I live [referring to his resurrection], you will live also [reckonedly regenerated in this age, and actually in the resurrection].
In John 14:19, although Jesus’ words are directly to Philip, Jesus is evidently speaking to his apostles in general, when he said: “you [plural] will behold me.” When Jesus said “you”, the pronoun in the Greek is plural, signifying that he was not simply addressing Philip (John 14:9), but all of the eleven apostles. All of the eleven apostles will be members of the joint-heirs with Christ, receiving spiritual bodies in the resurrection as Jesus now has, and thus will be able to see, or behold, Jesus’ own glorious spiritual body. The world will never have that ability.
Nevertheless, Jesus made many appearances to his 11 faithful apostles (as well as to other disciples) before his ascension (Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:4-8), but the world never saw him again after his death and burial, and will never physically see him again.
Additionally, the remaining 11 apostles will live again in the last day (John 6:39,40,44,54), and will further see Jesus then, not as a human being, but in his exalted glory of a heavenly, spirit being, the glory of a celestial (heavenly), spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:40,45), and this is what we believe that Jesus is specifically referencing. The world, being raised to life on the earthly, physical plane, will never ever physically see or behold Jesus’ magnificent glory, although they will see his glory in its kingdom physical manifestations all over the earth.
Also, the believers in this age are allowed to spiritually “see” Jesus with varying degrees of understanding, while the present evil world (Galatians 1:4) cannot appreciably see Jesus at all due to the blinding influence of Satan. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9) In the age to come, however, the blinding influence and the covering vail of darkness will have been removed when the mountain of God’s kingdom fills the earth (Isaiah 2:2-4; 25:7; 29:18; Revelation 20:1-3), so that those who in this age do not believe will, in that last day of judgment be able “see” Jesus, not literally, but with the symbolic “eyes” of understanding that will no longer be symbolically blinded. — Isaiah 2:2-4; 26:9; John 12:47,48.
Now, however, neither the world nor the church will ever again see Jesus in the flesh. Why not? Because he sacrificed his flesh once for all time. He never takes it back, nor does he have any reason to take it back. If he should take that flesh back, then the sacrifice would become void, for in order to completely fulfill the condemnation upon Adam, Jesus’ humanity has to be dead forever. The very purpose of Jesus’ becoming flesh was to sacrifice that flesh for the sin of the world. Having presented that flesh, his body, in sacrifice after his ascension, he has no need to ever again become flesh.
The apostle Paul calls attention to the difference between heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, and declares that they have different glories. (1 Corinthians 15:40) He tells us that the first Adam was made a living soul, a human being, but that our redeemer, he who came from heaven, who humbled himself, and took the earthly nature — “for the suffering of death” (Hebrews 2:9) — being foreshadowed by sinless Adam (Romans 5:14), and being crowned with the earthly glory as was sinless Adam (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:9). Jesus’ body of was prepared by his God, without the taint of sin or condemnation in Adam. (Hebrews 10:5) But Jesus did not remain flesh, for he offered his earthly glory, his flesh, his body, in sacrifice for the church and the world. (John 6:51; Hebrews 10:10; 1 John 2:2) What we need to remember is what Jesus sacrificed, what he offered to his God, was human life and all that pertains to it. Jesus did not die for spirit beings; he died for human beings, the “all” that are dying in Adam. — 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:12- 19.
John tells us of Jesus that “in him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4) What does this mean, that in Jesus, as a human “was life”? John 9:5 and 2 Timothy 1:10 give us a clue. Since Jesus, unlike Adam, was totally obedient, his sinless human life offered light to the dying race of mankind. Thus Jesus said: “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5, New King James version) The good news is that Jesus came with a sinless human life that he could offer in sacrifice to his God on man’s behalf in order to atone for the sin of the world. Thus Jesus, while a man, possessed life, and by his continued obedience brought life and incorruption to light. (2 Timothy 1:10) Jesus condemned sin in the flesh by showing that a sinless, incorrupt human can obey God’s laws. — Romans 8:3; 2 Timothy 1:10.
See: How God’s Son Condemned Sin the Flesh
Jesus, as a human, as most know the scriptures say, was without sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peterr 2:22-24; 1 John 3:5) Unlike dying mankind, while Jesus was in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), Jesus had life, thus in him was life! (John 1:4) How thankful we can be that the great Logos, the Word of God, the only direct living creation of God, the one through whom all life was made, when the offer was made, and the “joy set before him,” said to his God, “Lo I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, 0 God.” (John 1:1-3, Diaglott Literal; Hebrews 10:7; 12:2; Revelation 3:14). The life and personality of the Logos was then transferred and he became the babe of Bethlehem. “He was made flesh and being found in fashion [likeness] as a man [sinful flesh –Romans 8:3] he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross [stauros].” – John 1:14; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 2:14.
Jesus’ human body was not prepared from sinful human stock, but Jesus says of his God: “But a body did you prepare for me.” (Hebrews 10:5) It is thus this sinless human body, having sinless life, that Jesus willingly offered in sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:10) Yes, in Jesus was life — human life, crowned with the glory of a sinless man, who by remaining obedient to his God (Philippians 2:8) never fell short of the glory of God. — Romans 3:23; Hebrews 2:9.
Thus seen, what did Jesus sacrifice?
He gave his humanity — including his body of flesh — as an offsetting price, which sacrifice he formally presented to his God as priest after his ascension. – – Hebrews 8:4; 9:24-26; 10:10.
1) Jesus gave his blood in sacrifice.
Matthew 26:28 – for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.
Mark 14:24 – He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.
Luke 22:20 – He took the cup in like manner after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, that which is poured out for you.
Acts 20:28 – Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. – Revised Standard Version.
Romans 5:9 – Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him.
Ephesians 1:7 – in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
However, what does blood represent? Jesus’ human soul, which he also gave in sacrifice.
Leviticus 17:11 – For the life [Hebrew, nephesh – soul] of the flesh is in the blood.
Deuteronomy 12:23 – The blood is the life [Hebrew, nephesh – soul].
The human soul consists of the body made from the dust of the ground and the neshamah, representing the activation of the body by spirit of life as received from God. — Genesis 2:7.
2) Yes, Jesus did sacrifice his human body: He thus was not raised as a human, but as a spirit being, with a spiritual body.
Hebrews 10:10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:11 Every priest indeed stands day by day ministering and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins,
Hebrews 10:12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Hebrews 10:13 henceforth expecting until his enemies to be made the footstool of his feet.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.
Luke 22:19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, “This is *my body which is given [as an offering in sacrifice to God – Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:14] for you*. Do this in memory of me.”
3) Jesus sacrificed his flesh:
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
4) Jesus sacrificed his human soul:
Matthew 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life [soul] as a ransom [price to offset] for many.
Isaiah 53:12 He *poured out his soul* to death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
He died; he was totally dead, ceased to be sentient, else there has been no ransom. His body was given in sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:10; Luke 22:19) Jesus’ soul — his human sentiency — was given in sacrifice (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and went into sheol, where there is no work, device, knowledge or wisdom, and wherein one cannot give thanks to, or praise to, Yahweh. (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 6:5; Isaiah 38:18) Jesus’ human blood — which represents his human soul/being (Leviticus 17:11; Deuteronomy 12:23) — was given in sacrifice. (Mark 14:24; Acts 20:28; Hebrews 9:14) Thus his soul — his being — as raised, made alive, from the oblivious condition of sheol was no longer human, but spirit, with a spiritual, not a physical, body.
Once we realize that the human soul consists of the body of flesh activated by the neshamah, or spirit of life from God (Genesis 2:7), we can see how Jesus gave his entire humanity in sacrifice; he is no longer in the days of his flesh, and the world will never again literally see Jesus, either in the flesh, or in his heavenly glory. — Hebrews 5:7.
What, then, about Revelation 1:7?
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.
“Every eye shall see him” (Revelation 1:7) is widely accepted as proof that Christ will return visibly. The book of Revelation however, is full of symbology, and we believe that “eye” and “see” here is speaking symbolically. We know Jesus said , “The world seeth me NO MORE” (John 14:19). The Bible does not contradict itself! Any reasoning student of the Bible will admit that the book of Revelation is a book of symbols. It cannot be literally interpreted. Why should a person then insist that this one verse must be?
The “eye” in Revelation 1:7 is symbolical and refers to mental perception or the “eye” of understanding (Job 42:5). At first Christ appears only as clouds of darkness, trouble, suffering, tribulation, as a roaring of the sea. (Isaiah 5:30; Zephaniah 1:15; Luke 21:25) The world symbolically sees the clouds of darkness, but the people in general do not understand the import behind the clouds until the clouds are removed, and God through Christ says, Peace! Be Still! — Psalm 107:29; Mark 4:39.
While it could be the clouds of darkness that produce a mournful feeling in men, many scriptures indicate that when all flesh sees the glory of Yahweh (Isaiah 40:5) as being revealed through Jesus and the saints, the world will be mournful. (Isaiah 35:5-10) The judgments of that day will prove to be more tolerable for some than for others. — Matthew 10:15; 11:22,24; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:12,14.
The verse tells us that those that pierced Jesus will be there, which provides further indication that this has its full fulfillment in the resurrection day, the “last day” when the unbelieving world is to blessed with another day of judgment. — John 12:47,48.
Repentance is also associated with mournfulness (Joel 2:12), so the mournfulness being spoken of in Revelation 1:7 could be regarding repentance upon realization of the truths being revealed at that time. The next age will then be in full operation, the great deceiver abyssed, and mankind will then be enabled to understand. — Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14; Joel 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Isaiah 25:7; 29:24; Revelation 12:9; 20:1-4.
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Originally published on September 9, 2009; updated and republished on April 22, 2014.