John 16.31-33 cont.
31 Jesus answered them: “Do you now believe?”
32 Look, the hour comes and has already come when each of you will be scattered each to his own place and only I will be left, but I am not alone, because My Father is with Me.
33 I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but be courageous, I have overcome the world.
Perhaps we should consider that there were moments when Jesus had overcome the world at a number of stages leading up to His submission to death on the cross.
There were various stages when the victory of Jesus over the devil and the world were important milestones, and we can only surmise some of them.
God’s word tells us:
Long ago, even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes – Ephesians 1.4 (NLT).
Therefore, at the time when we were chosen in Christ, He and the Father had made the decision to save us, which meant defeating the devil. This took place before creation.
The first time the devil tricked Adam and Eve God said to him:
 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you will be punished. You are singled out from all the domestic and wild animals of the whole earth to be cursed. You will grovel in the dust as long as you live, crawling along on your belly.
 From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel” – Genesis 3.14-15.
This is a prophecy that speaks of the conquest of Jesus over the devil.
We know that the world tried to defeat Jesus when He was born, as Herod killed all boys under the age of two. Yet his objective failed and Jesus triumphed.
The wickedness and darkness of the world was seen in Herod being prepared to sacrifice all boys under two in an attempt to extinguish the Light of the world.
Every times Jesus took a decision that took Him nearer to the cross, the world was being defeated. Then, in the Upper Room, His face was set to go to the place of His arrest, it was an eternal appointment. By leaving the Upper Room He had defeated the world, even though it was closing in on Him in its’ futile attempt to be rid of Him.
As the old hymn by Robert Lowry puts it:
Up from the grave He arose; with a mighty triumph o’er His foes; He arose a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever, with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!