(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Jesus: The Victor Over Abuse
By Katie Berry
When thinking about Jesus Christ’s victory upon the cross, one of the songs that immediately comes to mind is “Resurrecting,” by Elevation Worship. Its lyrics retell a story of the most epic proportions–an origin story of our freedom through the decision of a loving and merciful God to give His only son to pay the ransom for the sins of the world.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I hear about Christ’s victory and think of it as only that—Christ’s victory.
I often forget that His victory is mine as well.
As a victim of an abusive relationship, there are times I still see myself as a victim. No, not the victim who pulls the infamous “victim card” when life gets tough or someone hurts my feelings, but the actual victim of abuse—one that has been hurt deeply by a person they trusted and has been left to go through life feeling seemingly damaged beyond repair.
There are times I am still left thinking that I am defeated by this abuse (even knowing it is not the truth)—and that I will always be stuck in the dysfunction and hurt from residual damage.
Although I am in a much better place than I once was, I still find myself becoming stuck in the victim mindset. There are times where I still feel trapped by the abuse—imprisoned by the hurt and rejection that feels endless.
There are days where I watch the people around me and wonder if I will ever feel normal, if I will ever see the emotional shatters picked up from the ground.
Throughout my healing process, I have found that I need constant reminders of the fact I am no longer a victim and instead a victor.
I may not be completely healed from the abuse (yet), but I feel the slow recovery of my heart. And this, my friends, has only been because of the saving grace and compassion of Jesus Christ.
Jesus knows exactly how we feel as victims of abuse—He was abused to the point of crucifixion. He experienced the worst possible humiliation, abuse, and death. He went through this to pay the ransom for us. And, as if that wasn’t enough, He rose from the dead! He was resurrected from the grave—He declared victory over something that was absolutely final (or, so, it seemed).
Jesus Christ is our example we must look to for finding victory through our abuse.
And, in thinking back to the song as I write this, I think it’s time to refer back to that. In preparing for this article, I couldn’t help but see the following sections of lyrics pop out continually at me. I see these as a sort of guideline for how we, victims of abuse, can see Jesus exemplify this declaration of victory over abuse.
- Your name, your name, is victory.
His very name is victory.
This isn’t just some New Testament stuff, it’s even promised to us way back when in Deuteronomy 20:4 (“For the LORD your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!”). Over and over and over God promises victory to His people—Jesus, however, is the ultimate representation of this victory. Through His resurrection, all children of God receive that same victory.
When the enemy tries to convince us that we will always stay the victims of abuse, we must remember to fight back with these words of truth.
No matter the struggle, no matter the pain, no matter who tells you it isn’t true, this, right here, is the truth.
- The fear that held us now gives way, to Him who is our peace. His final breath upon that cross is now alive in me.
Alive—meaning living a life. Abuse may have taken away your ability, at some point, to fully live life, but it no longer has to!
The fear that makes us want to stay stuck inside ourselves, within our insecurities, hurts, and dysfunction rooted from abuse, has been defeated. From the moment we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and become a child of the Almighty God, the fear in our life no longer has power over us.
After all, we are the children of the very God who makes the demons, the darkness, tremble (James 2:19)!
If that very same breath—the breath that makes darkness tremble—is the very one that lives inside of us, how can we deny the victory we have over the darkness (like abuse) within our own lives?
- By your Spirit I will rise from the ashes of defeat. In your name I come alive to declare your victory.
Defeat. We’ve all been there.
The defeat you feel as a victim of abuse can be absolutely crushing, especially when you feel as though your circumstances will never change.
I can only imagine what Jesus must have been feeling. Perfect and righteous beyond compare, He stood there as people insulted, mocked, whipped, and tortured Him. Completely alone, He cried out to the Father, “‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” (Matthew 27:46). Can you imagine how defeated He must have felt?
But then God did something that went against the very laws of nature—He resurrected Jesus Christ. He defeated the very feeling of defeat and replaced it with victory.
Through His Spirit, we no longer have to stay covered under the ashes of defeat. Instead, from the name of our Savior, we can come alive! We can become alive through the very breath of the ultimate victor.
And with that breath, there comes responsibility. When we accept the breath of Jesus to come over our lives, we choose to share His name with everyone and anyone. We choose to praise and share His name in declaration of the victory we have through Him.
- The resurrected King is resurrecting me.
Who would have thought that the King, who willingly died for our sins, would become resurrected just so we could also be resurrected from the death of sin and experience life?
I know it may feel like after the abuse you experienced there’s no way you could experience life. But remember this, if Jesus declared victory over the world for Himself, He did the same for you. All you have to do is accept it.
Accept the victory. Not just over your own sins, but the sins of those around you. Step into the victory Jesus gave you over this abuse.
Why stay a victim when you can become a victor like Jesus Christ?
As the Easter season approaches, look to the victory of Jesus upon the cross as your victory as well.
While on that very cross, He felt the all of the pain, brokenness, shame, disappointment, fear, rejection—everything—that you have felt as result of abuse and declared total and complete victory over it.
Your victory is right in front of you, all you have to do is choose to accept it.