This Easter week is a truly historic one. We are preparing to celebrate Jesus’s resurrection on Easter Sunday while at the same time grappling with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has overwhelmed the world.
But even as I think of what has overwhelmed the world, I think of who has overcome the world: Jesus.
He says to us in John 16:33b, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV). Jesus spoke those words to his disciples prior to his death on the cross on Good Friday. He was claiming victory even before his suffering. He was looking ahead to his resurrection.
And because of Jesus’s death and resurrection, we can claim victory over our suffering as well.
Good Friday teaches us that we overcome our suffering by the blood of Jesus.
In Revelation 12:11, we read that the saints of God triumph over Satan “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” We overcome by the blood of the Lamb. I am especially mindful of that fact this Easter week.
When Jesus shed his blood, my past died, my shame died, my condemnation and my fear died. All the things attributed to the old Samuel Rodriguez passed away (2 Corinthians 5:17). So when Jesus died, the old me died. I am assured that no matter what comes my way, I will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony.
Easter Sunday teaches us that we overcome our suffering by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Romans 8:11, the apostle Paul writes, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
If we are followers of Jesus, then the same Spirit--the Holy Spirit--that raised him from the dead is living inside of us. It is not a gentle spirit, a derivative spirit, a kindred spirit or a similar spirit: it is the very same Spirit that catapulted Jesus out of the tomb on Easter Sunday.
The apostle John puts it this way in 1 John 5:4, “… for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
When Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, the new me came to life. My deliverance, my healing, my purpose, my destiny, love, joy and peace all came to life on that blessed day. That's what enables me to rest and not lose hope in the midst of a global health crisis.
This Easter, may we remember that we can overcome whatever life throws at us because Jesus overcame death.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Israel Brum
Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, executive producer of Breakthrough with 20th Century Fox and bestselling author of You Are Next: Destroy What Has Paralyzed You and Never Miss Your Moment Again (Charisma House Publishing). CNN and FOX News have called him “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.