Today's Reading: 1 John 5:4-10
Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. (1 John 5:4, ESV)
Alleluia! Christ is risen! In the name of Jesus. You are born of God. So am I. Born of water and the Spirit. John says that means we have overcome the world. So why does it more often feel like the world has overcome us?
Why do we have to worry about diseases that we can't pronounce? Why are we afraid of what our friends will think if we stop doing what we've done — sinfully — with them so many times before? Why do we concern ourselves with what people say behind our backs? Why do we yield to all those temptations to lie, to cheat, to covet, and to go farther with our boyfriends and girlfriends rather than honor them?
Our earthly parents gave us birth in sin. Our heavenly Father gave us rebirth in the forgiveness of sin. Doesn't that mean we should have a life like Adam and Eve had, like they had before sin? Jesus was crucified to remove that sin from us. So shouldn't all those influences of the world be over?
Be patient. The world is overcome. But you don't yet see it overcome. Your Lord has come out of the tomb. But you are still in this world. In this world you will have tribulation. But that is temporary.
As you endure that tribulation, do not forget that the tomb is empty. There is no reason to sing for joy on Easter Sunday and then go back to living in fear when you step out of your church and into the world. Jesus won' t be returning to His grave today or any other day. Easter is irreversible. So do not live as though your Savior is still dead.
This world will perish. So don't worry about what the world might do to you. Don't concern yourself with what its people think. You don't belong to this dying world. You belong to the living Christ.
We Christians typically do not walk around with our heads in the clouds. We don't pretend life is easy. In this world we will have tribulation. Lots of it. But the One who has overcome the world, the One who has overcome death, has hold of us. He has come by water and blood. Both gushed from Him on the cross. He still comes by water and blood. Both gush over your life — in Baptism and Supper.
So you know how the book is going to end. Whatever suffering and struggle we may face in the pages between now and the end of the book — the end of time — we know how the last chapter ends. Jesus wins, which means we win. "Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world." And there's an empty tomb to make it certain. Christ is risen!