God's word in today's world

The last move

The international evangelist, Tony Anthony, recounts the legend of Friedrich Moritz August Retzsch’s painting Die Schachspieler (The Chess Players) often known today as Checkmate. In the painting, two chess players sit at a chess board. One is the devil, very confident, and the other, an ordinary man who looks quite anxious. The winner’s prize? The man’s soul. So, checkmate!

According to the legend, a chess champion once walked into the museum and spent a long time looking at the painting. Suddenly he shouted: “It’s a lie! It’s a lie!”

People came closer and the crowd of people forced the curator to go and see what was going on. The champion was clearly upset and repeated: “It’s a lie! It’s a lie!”

“Why are you so upset?” asked the curator. “The painter will have to change the painting or change the title. Look, the game isn’t over, it’s a lie, it’s not checkmate, the king still has one move left!”

Just when it seemed if man has lost everything, when it seemed as if man no longer had a chance to live, when it looked like checkmate, there was still one move left. 10… Since the appearance of our Saviour, nothing could be plainer: death defeated, life vindicated in a steady blaze of light, all through the work of Jesus.

In a way, Jesus’ words on the cross echo in my head: “It’s done!” Through Jesus, God made his last move and won the fight. On the cross, Jesus broke the hold that satan had on mankind. Jesus came to break the chains holding people. Jesus took away the enormous load of baggage that people drag along.

With his last move Jesus was victorious, saved man, and more than overcame Satan. Jesus vanquished him and took away his sting.

With his last move, Jesus brought about a huge victory for us: 10… death defeated, life vindicated in a steady blaze of light, all through the work of Jesus.

I thought long and hard about what it really meant. We know it. We know it so well, but do we really know what we are inheriting here?

A life filled only with good. A life without pain and hardship and illness. A life where laughter never ends and joy burns high and strong and can never be extinguished.

That is the prize we receive as a result of Jesus’ last move.

I enjoy seeing how people react when they’ve won something. It’s as if they want to jump for joy. As if they can’t contain the sudden excitement they feel inside.

And that is exactly how we should respond to this wonderful prize that we win as a result of Jesus’ last move. We must jump for joy every day. People should see the impact of Jesus’ last move on our lives. They must be so curious about the reason why that they are forced to ask what is going on with you.

Go and live exactly like that today.

2 Timothy 1:8-10

Do you understand Jesus’ last move?
What impact does it have on your life?
Do others see it?

Jesus, thank you for opening up the way to real life for me. Thank you that I can know that the worries and pain of life on earth will not last forever. Please help me keep my eyes on what is up there so that I can face each day filled with hope. Amen.

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