John 16:33 “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.”
When I was young and immature, I was also in shape. I could play basketball if I wanted and not double over to catch a breath every five minutes, er – five seconds. And by young and immature, I don’t mean a few weeks ago. I mean junior high or maybe high school… okay, college too. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a little competitive. So a good basketball game back in the day needed some good trash talking to spice it up a bit. I remember my friends and I had a favorite line. It was when you were one on one with a guy and you nailed a jump shot with him right up there in your grill. “In your face!” we would say. Technically that is accurate, since the shot was made in his face. But “in your face” was a classic taunt anyway. I don’t know where these lame lines come from.
As Jesus neared the cross, he prepared his disciples for his departure. He told them about the Holy Spirit and he told them that he would be gone in a little while and back in a little while. He told them that through the Holy Spirit they would have peace in the midst of trouble. Then he comes out with it: “in your face Satan!” At least that is how I read it. This word overcome means to have a complete victory. It means to win your case in court. It means to overpower your rival and hand him defeat!
I find it interesting that Jesus makes this declaration before going to the cross rather than after. We often say that the power comes from the victory at the cross… which is true. But Jesus says it before the cross. In fact, the Father gives him all authority before the cross. So the cross wasn’t anything near defeat for him, it didn’t even resemble it in the heavenly realm. He had already overcome by the authority given to him. As he walked the earth by the power of the Holy Spirit in Him, he overcame the world and the prince of this world. The cross was kind of like the nail in the coffin. It was the final blow.
Jesus did not live a defeated life in the least. He lived the life of an overcomer. He lived the life of a champion. He lived the life of one who would take a shot (with Satan all up in His grill) and would boldly declare, “IN YOUR FACE!” What kind of life do you live? Is the enemy taking shots in your face? Or are you going to stand up and take the authority that Jesus left for you by the power of the Holy Spirit and trample all over your opponent the way Jesus did?