Jesus the Victor
September 12, 2021, 10:48 PM

During the darkest, coldest part of winter 1944-1945 the German’s staged a last-ditch all-out effort to drive a wedge into the middle of the allied line.  Throughout the summer and fall the Germans were driven back through France and into German territory. 

 

For all practical purposes the Germans were defeated.  Attacked in the East by allied forces and in the West by the Russians it was only a matter of time.  But a weakened foe is still a dangerous foe. 

 

So, they drove hard with all they had left into the weakest point on the Allied line, driving through the forest.  Eventually their efforts failed, and the allied forces drove all the way into Berlin, ending the war. 

 

But the Battle of the Bulge was a disaster for the allied forces.  Thousands of lives were lost unnecessarily because they did not understand what the enemy was up to. Many underestimated the German forces, believing that victory was secure. 

 

This is a picture of our spiritual reality.  There is an enemy to God, His Son, and the church.  He was defeated at the cross, the victory sealed by the empty tomb.  His fate is sealed, but he still fights.  He is still dangerous. 

 

You are at war.  He is filled with hate towards you because He knows where you are headed. He knows that you will soon be in the place He was before His fall. The battle can be vigorous, aggressive, and overwhelming.  He is a powerful enemy and is not to be underestimated. 

 

The enemy has a name.  He is the devil, Satan, that old snake.  He is behind the ugliness of this world, the sinfulness of humanity, the pain inflicted on God’s children.

 

He knows the end of the story, but if he can put you in bondage to sin, if he can inflict your spirit with depression, anxiety, or fear, he can steal the joy of Jesus from your heart.  We dare not relax until our feet are on streets of gold. Peter said, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
 

Bill McCartney, founder of Promise Keepers, said “We all know we are in a war.  Our problem is that we are not at war! We must develop a warrior spirit.  We must be disciplined, aggressive, and assertive.

 

But Jesus!  Jesus is the victor, and we will ride with Him in victory.  But the Cross! But the Resurrection!

 

We do well to remember, and even remind the enemy of the end of the story.  Do you remember it?  After all the tragic scenes in Revelation, the tragedies of the broken seals and the sounding trumpets.  After the destruction of the poured-out bowls and the destruction of the great city.  Somehow those who remain will be convinced to do battle against Jesus.

The “Battle of Armageddon” comes at the end.  I always use quotes in that description because it won’t be much of a battle.  Jesus will come back to earth riding on a white horse of victory.  He will bring with Him all the people who have been sealed with His Mark. We will ride in victory with the King! 

 

We long for that day, but until that day we are to claim, believe, and live in the victory He provides.  Today I point out four realms of victory.

 

First Realm of Victory: Death is Defeated

On Resurrection Sunday we talked about Jesus as Victor over death.  But that is not the extent of His victory.   Empty grave, folded grave clothes, walking through walls, transformed disciples.  Those parts of the story we know well.

 

All these testify to THE CENTRAL truth of our faith.  Jesus won over death.  Jesus conquered death. He is the victor!

 

Peter said the same on Pentecost.  Acts 2:23-24 “This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

 

Jesus overcame death and sin.  So will we. Death could not hold Jesus and it cannot hold us. One day we will leave this earth.  On that day death will not hold us, it will lose its grip on us.

Second Realm of Victory: The Law is Defanged

The religious world of Jesus, Peter, and Paul was filled with rules.  613 rules had to be memorized to be considered an adult.  They did not just have to memorize the rules but were expected to keep them completely.

 

Many of the religious world lived under the assumption that to please God they had to keep all the rules.  They worked for a passing grade, constantly struggling to keep all the regulations.  Christians today still struggle with the temptation to make up arbitrary rules.

 

Paul helped us understand that the law with its rules was permanently defanged.  “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14)

 

We are not free to just live any way we wish.  We cannot simply ignore God’s rules.  But we are free.  God does not expect us to earn our way into heaven based on keeping man’s rules.  We are free from the law once and for all.

 

Third Realm of Victory: The Enemy is Humiliated

Satan is defeated.  More than that, Jesus’ victory tells us that the enemy is humiliated.  Paul’s writing in Colossians continues by telling us this truth: “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2:15)

 

Satan is disarmed that is a word for being unclothed or stripped naked. 

 

The Roman army made an art of humiliating their fallen foe.  Each time they defeated an enemy they would bring the best and strongest of the captured soldiers back to Rome.  They would have a huge parade with the fallen foe tied to the chariot of the conquering general.

 

We can stand victorious because Jesus is greater.  You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

 

Satan can make our lives difficult.  He can cause confusion and pain, but He is defeated. We cannot be defeated because the victory lives in us!


Fourth Realm of Victory: The World is Powerless

The world may be filled with struggles.  Pain is real.  Suffering is ever present.  Diseases and death are relentless.  But Jesus! 

 

He prepared us for the inevitable struggles with a promise.  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

 

In this world we will have trouble. Not might have trouble.  Not could have trouble.  We will have trouble. 

Through Jesus we have overcome the world.  “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.  (1 John 5:4)

 

We have a struggle that is real.  We will continue to struggle, but victory is ours.  On days you doubt remember the four realms of victory and remember who you are.

  • You are a conqueror.  You are more than a conqueror. (Romans 8:37) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
  • You are equipped.  You can do ALL things. (Phil 4:13) I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
  • You can stand immovable. (1 Corinthians 15:58) We can stand firm.  That is a seated, fixed position.  Sometimes we charge.  Sometimes we fight.  Sometimes we simply stand in the face of the enemy and say, “I will not move.  I will not be swayed!  I am not moving!”  We are not to be unstable but continue the work of the Lord.