THE STRIFE IS O'ER
“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15: 56-57 NIV).
The hymn “THE STRIFE IS O'ER” is often sung as an Easter hymn, and (in my part of the world) during burial services. This hymn reflects the victory that Jesus Christ has over the power of death. It also captures the triumphant joy of the His resurrection and the future resurrection of those that believe in Him. No wonder, the hymn is sung during burial services of believers in Christ. Jesus Christ redeemed humanity by being a ransom for us through His death. He conquered the powers of hell and restored the link between a fallen humanity and heaven.
This hymn indeed celebrates the battle fought and won at the cross of Calvary. "The powers of death have done their worst," but Christ has won the victory. The strife is over and the battle is done. Victory of life has been won and the song of triumph has begun: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! The powers of death indeed have done their worst, but Christ has dispersed their legions. He closed the yawning gates of hell and made the bars from heaven’s high portals fall. We can now burst into shouts of holy joy outburst: Alleluia! After three sad days in the grave, He gloriously rose from the dead. Alleluia! The last stanza of the hymn is a prayer –– a prayer that Christ, by his death, might set us free from death "so that we may live, and sing to thee: Alleluia!
Jesus Christ has indeed fought and won the battle over the power of death and sin. Believers in Him are more than conquerors (see Romans 8:37). However, that does not mean they are free from the struggles of life. In fact, Jesus Christ categorically told His disciples that they will have trouble in this world. The good news is that He has overcome the world (see John 16:33 NIV). The implication of this for every believer is that in spite of the fact that Jesus Christ has won the battle over the power of death and sin, we have to continue with the various struggles of life until we die or Jesus Christ returns with the full awareness that He has given us victory already. Alleluia!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).