One of my sons recently asked me why if the Pharisees loved God so much, they were opposed to Jesus. I explained that He looked differently than the Messiah they expected. Instead of being a King who ruled and dominated the world physically, He came in silently and took over the entire spiritual realm. His triumphs weren’t what they wanted, and weren’t worldly enough for them. It’s really hard to wrap your mind around a God who’s can be so dominant and yet stays so intentionally subversive in a world that He created.
The oddest thing about Jesus is that even as He knew He was to die a terrible death, He spoke about victory in past and present tense. This king who seemed to be taking very few in the worldly win column says in John 16:33, “but take heart, I have overcome the world.” The Amplified Version says “I have deprived it of it’s power to harm you and conquered it for you.” And just as He died and rose on the third day to show us that victory over death was already won, He was giving us another symbolic victory. That victory was the proof that, once and for all, even our end wasn’t the real end and when He said the world had no power over us and He would ensure that every bad thing now had a purpose towards that Victory, He meant it.
Today, we skulk around, concerned that what we perceive as a loss will never be redeemed. Every ding in our armor calls us further into drudgery, so instead we look forward to the day when we reach the reward of the Kingdom. But if we are already members of His Church, and if we have already received the Gift of the Spirit, and if the victory over death is already won, why are we squandering the rewards he’s already given us?
This week I pray that you will not allow the enemy to drag you into the defeat he tries to give you, but instead allow Jesus to strengthen you with the victory that He gave you so many years ago.