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Resurrection Victory

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John 16:7 KJV 1900
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
John 16:7 KJV 1900
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
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John 16:33;
John 16:33 KJV 1900
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
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1 John 5:4 KJV 1900
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Easter Sunday is about the victorious power of the resurrection and the victory that we share in Christ.
The early church used symbols to designate Christianity and help spread the good news of Christ. Many symbols, such as the Ichthus (Jesus fish), are recognized worldwide. Another symbol used by the early church declared Jesus as Victor. The symbol was a symmetrical cross On the four points of the cross stood initials from left to right: IC, the Greek letters for the first and last letters of the name Jesus, XC the letters for the word Christos, and finally the word NIKA, separated on both of the lower portions, which meant “Victor.” To see this symbol, look here:
http://www.londonbaystationery.com/Images/victors_cross.jpg. The symbol emphasized that Jesus Christ is the Victor. Jesus is the resurrected Lord and King. These early Christian symbols were written on catacombs and tattooed on bodies as visual representations of truth and identity. But what did Jesus conquer?
2. The Greek words for victory, conquer, and overcome all come from the same family. The words nika, nike and nikao paint a picture of receiving victory, much like an army in battle (William F. Arndt, F. Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957], 541).
3. The most notable use of the word overcome is in Jesus’s final discourse to his disciples before his prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus stated that his disciples will go through tribulation, but he leaves them with peace. This is a unique peace; even though they may go through tribulation and persecution for believing in him, he (Jesus) has overcome the world ().
4. The word world is derived from the Greek term kosmos. New Testament scholar Robert Cook gives a definition of the context of “world” within John, stating, “It is a way of life ordered apart from and contrary to God, ruled by Satan, and encompassing all mankind who are not in the family of God, through faith in Jesus Christ” (W. Robert Cook, The Theology of John [Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1979],117).
5. Other passages that talk about the victory of Jesus proclaim that those who believe in him partake in this victory and are conquerors as well. John says that “everyone born of God overcomes the world” ().
6. In his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus has conquered the power of evil, sin, and death. We can have peace and live a life that brings redemption and hope to those around us because Jesus has overcome the “world” (a way of life contrary to God). When we give our lives to Christ and become a part of his family, we enter into the declared victory that our king has won. Do you know this king? Do you know this victory?
7. Ask the congregation to write down what comes to mind when they hear the phrase a way of life contrary to God. Give a few examples (murder, lust, lying, pride, arrogance). Everyone is going to mention “big” sins, but include those “flaws” that aren’t so big but are still hostile toward Christ (impatience, lack of grace, fits of rage).
8. In the book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis paints a picture of this atoning victory. To atone for the sins of Edmond, Aslan is slaughtered by the White Witch on an altar. All the wicked forces in Narnia humiliate and kill the lion-king of Narnia. But Aslan is resurrected and destroys the power of the White Witch, and spring and justice returns to Narnia. This story of sacrifice, death, resurrection, and victory reflect the atoning sacrifice of Jesus (C. S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe [Grand Rapids, MI: Harper Collins, 2008]).
9. It’s hard sometimes to see victory in our lives. We are surrounded by brokenness, sin, evil, and our own failures. The victory that Jesus won is the reality, but we only see it partly. We will see the fullness of this victory when he returns. When a woman is pregnant the baby is in the world, but it has yet to be born. The baby is growing in her womb. The parents will speak to the baby, watch the child kick, have baby showers knowing that the baby is present … but still the baby is not yet in the world. Our lives can reflect this tension of the victory of Christ. It is already here, but we don’t always see the physical manifestation.
10.Jesus has overcome and declared victory over evil, sin, and death. That is the reality of life. We do not have to live lives bound by sin and evil. Does this mean that we live a life where everything is wonderful, and we never struggle, never sin, and are never tempted? No! The Holy Spirit is constantly revealing things in our lives that convict us and that we need to ask forgiveness for. But, we have been given new life. We are no longer slaves to sin, but are conquerors.
1.The story of Easter is a story of hope. Hope that sin does not have the final word in our lives. Hope that evil can be overcome by good. Hope that people can change. Hope that as people change, neighborhoods can change. Easter doesn’t just give us hope for how we die, but gives us hope for how we live.
11.The story of Easter is a story of hope. Hope that sin does not have the final word in our lives. Hope that evil can be overcome by good. Hope that people can change. Hope that as people change, neighborhoods can change. Easter doesn’t just give us hope for how we die, but gives us hope for how we live.
Easter Sunday is about the victorious power of the resurrection and the victory that we share in Christ.
We are overcomers in Christ.
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