This morning, I talked to a friend who is having a really hard time. I’ve spent some time in the same shadowy valley that seems to be enclosing her now. As I tried to encourage her, Jesus’ death-drenched words echoed in my ears: “It is finished.”
I wonder what those who loved Jesus thought of those words. Did they think they were words of defeat? That HE was finished? That His ministry and kingdom were over?
Yet less than a week later, they would learn that his words were victorious! Triumphant! Jesus was not finished. We are not finished. Our terrible situation is not the last word. DEATH is finished. SIN and SICKNESS are finished. The powers of darkness are finished.
And so today, as my friend bends under the painful weight of hopelessness, I can confidently assure her that “it is finished.” We ARE “more than conquerors.” We are not GOING to be more than conquerors. It is already done.
I know. I know. It doesn’t seem finished. We live in a world full of cancer diagnoses and malice and brokenness and pain. Jesus recognizes this fact. And then he tells us to “take heart, for I have overcome the world.” Already.
Isn’t that the way our Christian faith works? We believe in an invisible God and take hold of promises that are yet unseen. We rejoice already in a victory we’ve not yet fully tasted. We are living ironies: practicing sinners made righteous by faith; fools leaning on the wisdom of God. Because we are weak and unable to overcome, He becomes champion for us.
We don’t only apply our future victories to the afterlife. We believe that God will guide us through many earthly valleys into the bright light of his triumph. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” Romans 8:28. We believe it. Even in the midst of the trials that crucify us with our Savior, we declare:
As God’s, we have already won.