President Obama: 'Overcome the World' as Jesus Did

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WASHINGTON -- In a few days, President Barack Obama says we'll all experience the "wonder of Easter morning."

The president hosted more than 100 Christians at the White House Wednesday for an Easter Prayer Breakfast, calling it an opportunity to "relfect on the triumph of the resurrection."

Christians from across the country joined to sing the popular hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness" with Christian artist Sara Groves in the East Room of the White House.

President Obama told them when he travels, he bumps into Americans who say they're praying for him.

"That means a lot to us. It especially means a lot to us when we hear from folks who we know probably didn't vote for me," Obama said. "And yet, expressing extraordinary sincerity about their prayers."

"It's a reminder not only of what binds us together as a nation, but also what binds us together as children of God," he added.

The president said he didn't want to "preach to a group of preachers," but he did talk about how Jesus overcame his fear in the Garden of Gethsemane to fulfill God's will.

"It's only because he endured unimaginable pain that wracked his body and bore the sins of the world that he burdened," Obama said. "That burdened his soul that we are able to proclaim, 'He is risen!'"

Quoting from the Bible, the president also gave words of encouragement.

"'In this world, you will have trouble,'" Obama said.

"I think I heard an amen," he continued to laughter. "'In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.'"

President Obama started the tradition of holding an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House during his first year in office. At the time, polls showed some Americans continued to believe he was a Muslim.

"To have the most influential political, if not the most powerful figure on the planet articulating the following: 'We are here to celebrate both the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ' … Wow!" said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, leader of the Hispanic Evangelical Association.

"I mean, that's just a wow factor across the board, regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum," he continued.

Vice President Joe Biden said Easter is a time of renewal for him. During his comments, he also stepped into the political.

"I think we require more understanding, more tolerance and more even sacrifice -- all sacrificing," Biden said. "To me, that's what the risen Christ exemplifies."

Politics aside, Rodriguez says the message of the president is one all Christians can sign off on.

"He alluded to the fact that we are living in troubled times, nevertheless we have faith," Rodriguez said. "And it's through the grace of Christ and through the resurrection that we understand that there's hope for a better day."

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Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.