More than Conquerors
Pastor Drew - March 29, 2021
What kind of victory does Easter bring?
Back when I visited the ancient city of Ephesus in 2015, the last thing I expected to see in the streets was the Nike swoosh. But there it was. Right on the road that is called Curetes Street. St. Paul would have walked down this road as he preached Christ crucified and ministered to the Ephesian Christians.
Only this was not the swoosh as we know it today, but a sculpture of the goddess Nike. Her body in the shape of a swoosh, she was known to the ancient Greeks as the champion of victory.
Who doesn’t love to win? I was talking with a couple of other Dads recently who told me that their kids are now big fans of the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite living nowhere near Florida. Jumping on the bandwagon can feel good.
Paul was familiar with the goddess Nike when he wrote the most stirring chapter of his most stirring letter, Romans 8. After he talked about the fact that all of us fall short of the glory of God and that we cannot save ourselves, Paul wrote Romans chapter 8. He talks about real victory. Holy Week victory.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or nakedness or famine or danger or sword? For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord?” (Romans 8:35, 39)
Then in Romans 8:37, Paul points to the greatest victory. One that is ours entirely through Christ. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” The word translated as “conquerors” is “hyper-nike” in Greek. It means surpassing victory.
By sacrificing his sin-less life and rising from the grave, Jesus broke the power of anything that could separate us from life with God. His sacrifice won the surpassing victory.
Every day I am amazed and inspired by human achievement. I marvel at the scientists who created the COVID19 vaccine. I’m in awe of golfers who can make a birdie on any hole at Augusta National. I am inspired by teachers who educate over Zoom. So many hard-won victories.
But the most surpassing victory of all is the one of a humble, rabbi named Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God. His victory is for you. To the victor go the spoils. Good news: the spoils of peace, joy, hope, and love are for you today. You can ask for God to pour them into your heart by the Holy Spirit this week. Whatever hardship you face right now, remember that you are more than a conqueror through Christ. Nothing can separate you from the love of God. I look forward to worshiping our Risen Savior with you!