Pilate gets it right. Jesus is King. God has anointed Him, as the Messiah, as King of God’s country. Most of the Hebrews refused to acknowledge this.
I am face to face with Jesus. Is He my King? What do I say? God is waiting for an answer.
Yes, yes and YES! Jesus is my King. All hail the power of Jesus name. I bow before Him and await His orders.
At this, Pilate tried his best to pardon him, but the Jews shouted him down: “If you pardon this man, you’re no friend of Caesar’s. Anyone setting himself up as ‘king’ defies Caesar.”
When Pilate heard those words, he led Jesus outside. He sat down at the judgment seat in the area designated Stone Court (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). It was the preparation day for Passover. The hour was noon. Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your king.”
They shouted back, “Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!”
Pilate said, “I am to crucify your king?”
The high priests answered, “We have no king except Caesar.”
Pilate caved in to their demand. He turned him over to be crucified. | John 19:12-19
The kingdom of God has several aspects. The Master is the Sovereign of the universe, and so in that sense His kingdom is universal (1 Timothy 6:15). At the same time, the kingdom of God involves repentance and the new birth, as God rules in the hearts of His children in this world in preparation for the next. The work begun on earth will find its consummation in heaven (see Philippians 1:6).
Before Jesus was interrogated by Pilate, Jesus made this clear:
“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” | John 18:36
Those who defy God’s authority and refuse to submit to Him are not part of the kingdom of God; in contrast, those who acknowledge the Mastership of the Messiah and gladly surrender to God’s rule in their hearts are part of the kingdom of God.
In this sense, the kingdom of God is spiritual — Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36), and He preached that repentance is necessary to be a part of the kingdom of God (Matthew 4:17).
That the kingdom of God can be equated with the sphere of salvation is evident in John 3:5–7, where Jesus says the kingdom of God must be entered into by being born again. See also 1 Corinthians 6:9.