This is Holy Week. Take time to reflect on Jesus' last few days leading up to His murder on the cross.
I've spent time in the book of John with a group of guys. On Sunday we read John 16 which records some of Jesus' last words to His disciples on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane. These words are precious because these are Jesus' last words to His friends before He was killed.
In John chapters 15 and 16 Jesus taught the disciples as they walked to the Garden of Gethsemane. In the previous chapter He taught them at the table of the Last Supper. In these chapters He highlighted the following: believing that He is the only way to the Father; abiding in Him, as the true vine; persevering in the face of the world's hatred for Christ and Christians; understanding the role of the Holy Spirit; and understanding what it means to pray in His name. Take time to read these three chapters so you too can be taught by Jesus. Take time to understand what was obviously of immense importance to our Savior and friend.
Jesus ended His teaching of the disciples with this verse that sums up His teaching.
"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
The last thing Jesus wanted to let His friends know before He was murdered is captured in this verse. So, this verse must still be important to us today.
We see in this verse that knowing the truths taught previously will give us peace. If you want peace you can believe in Jesus as the only way to the Father, abide in Him, persevere in faith, utilize the Holy Spirit and pray in Jesus' name.
We also see that being a Christian means that we will have trouble. This is a guarantee. Jesus did not say, "you may have trouble" He said, "you will have trouble". Don't be shocked by trouble. Don't let anyone tell you that trouble in your life means God screwed up, or necessarily that you screwed up.
Finally, remember that Jesus won. Not that He will win, but that He was already won. Look at the tense of the verb in this sentence: "I have overcome the world." Jesus has already won! So, "take heart!" As the Chris Tomlin song says, "Jesus has overcome and the grave is overwhelmed. The victory is won. He is risen from the dead."
That is one thing that we celebrate this Holy Week. Jesus has overcome. Jesus has won. Take heart! Remember and celebrate Jesus' victory today.