With the flood of coronavirus news, did anyone hear anything about Palm Sunday this week? Furthermore, has anyone even heard much talk of Easter this coming Sunday? Is it just me, or does it seem like the devil is trying cancel Easter this year? Well, it wouldn’t be the first time he tried it. But, the good news is that it didn’t work the first time, and it is not going to work this time either!
Truthfully, this Sunday I felt so impressed to talk about counteracting the message of fear with God’s message of faith that I didn’t mention Palm Sunday either, but we did talk about one very powerful victory-key that Jesus shared just after celebrating Passover with his disciples. It is not clear whether he and his disciples had a lengthy teaching session in the upper room after the meal (John 13), or whether he did some teaching along the way to the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18). But somewhere along the way, he alerted his disciples that “the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me (John 14:30).” Now get this. He is just about to be arrested and horribly crucified, but he said in essence, “The devil is coming, but he doesn’t have anything in me.”
Why was it so important for Jesus to make that declaration? Probably for the same reason he announced just before what the Bible called a “great storm of wind” came, “Let us pass over unto the other side” (Mark 4: 35-37). In other words, this maybe the storm of a lifetime, but I am not going to die in the middle of this thing; I am coming out on the other side! The Psalmist similarly declared, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord (Ps. 118:17).” There are two parts of faith: it is in your mouth and in your heart (Rom. 10:8). If you leave off either part of faith, the word will only be as the same scripture says, “nigh thee.” But wait a second. If you think about it, that is still some really good news! Did you realize that, right now, your healing, your deliverance, your breakthrough, your victory is near you? Well it is! Why? Because the Word is “nigh thee.” Everything that God wants to give you right now is in seed form, or should I say, in word form. But it won’t profit you unless it is in your mouth and in your heart.
But in the second part of Jesus’ declaration, just before, in his case literally, all hell broke loose, he said, the devil has “nothing in me.” That should serve as warning to each of us that before going through a storm, we had better make sure that the devil has nothing in us, no strife, no fear, no worry, no malice, no jealousy and so on. Peter teaches that Satan is seeking whom he may devour. If there are those he can devour, then there must be those whom he can’t devour. To be a person that the devil can’t devour: you must be submitted to your elder and subject to one another, you must be a humble person, you must remain worry free by casting all your cares upon the Lord, and you must resist the devil firmly in faith (1 Peter 5:5-8).
So Satan and his hoards of darkness came with full-force and launched an all-out attack on Jesus, but because the devil had nothing in him, early on Sunday morning, right on time, Jesus triumphantly arose with the keys death and hell in his nail-scared hands! What does that have to do with you and me? Our scripture says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me …” Not only does the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwell in you (Rom. 8:11), but in Galatians 2:20 we see that Christ, the resurrected One, lives inside of us! Not only does Jesus have the victory, but because Jesus lives inside of us, we too have the victory. You could say that Victory lives in us! If you are crucified with Christ, then that ole defeated sinner no longer lives, but now the one who knew no sin and knows no defeat lives inside of you!
Even though it may look really dark across our country, and even the world, right now with the death toll rising every day, the good news is that Easter was not cancelled then, and it won’t be cancelled this time around either because Christ, the one who loved us and gave himself for us, still lives inside of every believer! So wherever you are and however you can, get up Sunday morning and go to celebrate that the resurrected Lord is still alive. Some may ask, how do you know? We know because he lives inside of us! Now is definitely not the time for us to isolate, shrink back, and be silent. I know this year, for some, celebrating Easter might mean you may have to catch a live stream of your church service, but nonetheless, get out of that bed, gather all your family around, and assemble yourself with other believers through whatever means available and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord!