Why Jesus said, “I have overcome the world”

Can you imagine a world leader coming up to a podium and looking in front of the television camera and proclaiming, “I have overcome the world.”  No vast armies were behind him ready to conquer and no nuclear weapons pointing at strategic sites.  That would appear foolish.  His hold on power would come to an quick end.  But, this is what Jesus Christ proclaimed a few thousand years ago.  Just plain simple words, really.  Yet, more powerful than bombs, more devastating than an approaching army, because it’s a message, a declaration that the world we live in has already been conquered.  The battle has been fought.  Victory has already been achieved.  For most, this proclamation seems hollow, unbelievable, even laughable.  Most snicker when these words are repeated in front of audiences today.

President Obama used this words this morning as he addressed religious leaders from around the country during an Easter breakfast.  He pointed to Christ’s death, his resurrection, and used it as a message of inspiration and hope to a troubled world.  While many well-meaning religious leaders and rulers of countries clamor for peace in a world dedicated to destruction and terror by religious fringe groups, it is interesting that Christ’s message does not seek a plan for revenge or a plot for peace.  Nor is a plan to be debated in legislative houses and television shows on cable T.V.  Why? Because sin will always manifest trouble, pain and turbulence.  For this reason, Jesus reassures us that “I have overcome the world.”  Now, the question before us is whether or not Christ is telling the truth.

It is true that we go to great lengths to mask the trouble.  Synthetic drugs mask the pain so we don’t feel it.  But, the pain is still there.  Distractions of the world attempt to mask the reality of living in a sinful world, but the reality is still there.  The world will end.  Our lives on this earth are only a wisp of smoke before disappearing into the thin air.  Jesus’ plan was hatched the moment sin entered this world.  Like a incurable cancer, the disease of sin continues its trek to totally infect the world and eventually will lead to its death.  Then, a new heaven and a new earth will rise again.  Christ’s death and resurrection solidified that plan.  Because he arose, those who place their trust in his truth and proclaim their faith in his way, will arise too.  Because Jesus overcome the world, we will too.

This is the Easter celebration.  A proclamation of victory.  All the troubles of the world will disappear and peace will reign again — in that moment when Christ returns to claim us and this new heaven and this new earth as his own.

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