above quote from Scripture conveys some of the words of comfort our Lord Jesus
shared with His disciples in the dying hours before heading to the cross. He
had observed their worry and anxiety about their future after He had revealed
to them that He was going to Jerusalem to die. He assured them however, that
they would not be left comfortless. He would send them the Comforter. First, He
had to get out of the scene prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit. As was
expected, the disciples received such news with heavy hearts.
What do we understand the Lord to mean when He said that He had conquered the world? The world is characterised by the grip sin has on the populace. In fact, Satan and his cohorts have a hold on the world that we cannot fathom. Literally, they have put the world in chains. Satan is able to do so because Adam and Eve the custodians of the world sold it to him when they disobeyed God’s instruction not to eat of the tree in the centre of the garden. In actual fact, they sided with God’s enemy.
How do we know this? One of the baits Satan used when he made futile attempts at tempting our Lord Jesus, was this; “The devil took Him (Jesus) to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. All this I give to you,” He said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:8-9) The point is that you cannot offer someone something that does not belong to you.
Our Lord Jesus’ mission on earth was to recover what the devil had stolen. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his head.” (Genesis 3:15) This event occurred on Calvary’s Hill where our Lord Jesus hung on a cross as a ransom for sin. He became the penalty of sin by dying a shameful death for the benefit of humanity.
As He breathed His last, He exclaimed still in agony; “It is finished!” This meant the devil has been defeated; humanity had no reason to harbour fear of the devil anymore. After His resurrection, He commissioned His disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18)
The battle has been fought and won on our behalf on the cross of Calvary and our Lord Jesus has been victorious. We did not deserve it; we did not earn it and most of all we did not merit that He, our Lord Jesus, should die for humanity – the whole wide world. He did it nevertheless. We all have reason to be grateful, because we also are overcomers through Him who loved us and laid down His life for His friends.
Hymn writer of the hymn 215 in the Methodist Hymn-Book captures it vividly as portrayed by these lyrics -- “The strife is over the battle done, now is the Victor’s triumph won. Now be the song of praise begun; Alleluia!” Indeed, this is good news that we must not keep to ourselves but spread throughout the world. Our Lord Jesus has defeated our common enemy, and there is cause for rejoicing.
The apostle Paul renders it thusly; “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28) Because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross we have become more than conquerors.
I do not know what battles, trials or struggles you have been going through lately. It will be futile on your part to fight back single-handedly. Hand it all over to Jesus, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, to fight on your behalf and watch how you will regain sanity. The Bible states that the battle is the Lord’s but the victory is ours. The hard part is for the Lord, we cannot handle it; the burden will overpower us, because we are no match for the devil without the Holy Spirit’s cover. The devil hears the name of our Lord Jesus and trembles.
You will recall soon after the Children of Israel departed Egypt heading for the Promised Land that they encountered their first hurdle. O how they panicked, when the whole army of Egypt pursued them! They would have stoned Moses as a result. But God, the Almighty intervened and told Moses to assure them that “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” (Exodus 14:14) Equally when ‘a vast army from Edom’ threatened to attack King Jehoshaphat and the latter enquired of the Lord, he was told; “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17) What God, the Omnipotent One, said to Moses and Jehoshaphat He is saying to you and me.
You see, God has not changed; He is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:18) He is still fighting our battles and winning them on our behalf.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their singing.” (Psalm 46:1-3)
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph --” (2 Corinthians 2:14)