“Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.
“I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me, but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let’s be going.”
Who’s in charge around here? We may not always know how best to answer that question as we look around a world filled with pain, sorrow, sin and darkness. There are times when it sure feels like “the ruler of this world” is getting his evil way and that the tide of suffering he inflicts upon humanity will never turn. We believe, as Jesus did, that God always has the final say and that his mighty power overrules all other earthly power. But sometimes we struggle to keep that faith.
Jesus knew that’s where the disciples would be just hours after He said these words. They would watch as the soldiers arrested him in the garden. They would follow at a distance as He was led off to face false charges. They would hide in the shadows as He was nailed to the cross. They would bar the doors and cover the windows during those terrible, long hours after his body was placed in the tomb. During those moments, the disciples must have felt like the enemy was in charge and God’s power had been overthrown. So, Jesus told them ahead of time, “Remember what I told you.” They may have forgotten for a while, but after the resurrection, the Spirit brought to mind all Jesus had said. Then they remembered and understood that Satan has no power over Jesus and all his devious schemes couldn’t thwart God’s will from being fulfilled. Jesus chose to go to the cross. He willingly laid down his life. He gave himself away to save us. The ruler of this world didn’t win; he lost. Jesus won when He did what the Father required of him out of love for God and love for all the people of this world.
For now, we are left living in this world with a false ruler, the deceiver who claims to have power but who will never beat God. Yes, he seems to get his way sometimes, and evil often looks bigger and stronger than good. But we remember Jesus’ promise that He is always with us through the Holy Spirit and that his power is always greater than any power of this world. So, we confidently proclaim Jesus’ name against the power of darkness. We stand up for God’s truth and share the love and message of Jesus with great boldness, knowing that not even the gates of hell can overcome the mighty power of Jesus at work in his church (Matthew 16:18). Who’s in charge? Our great God is, by the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Father, You are the Almighty and the King of Glory. I trust in Your great power and in the wonderful name of Jesus. Thank You for the assurance of Your protection and provision. Help me to trust in You despite the trials of this life. I ask this through Jesus my Lord. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian