I started playing chess at 12 years of age because my cousin, Ronnie Truman, wanted to have a sparing partner. From there, I joined Chess Teams and competed through junior high and high school. When the Apple computer came out I bought a Chess program that had all the major Chess Tournaments in the world, pre-loaded so that you could watch the game and study the techniques of the Masters. I love the game, it’s world history, it’s mind-challenging foresight and prediction of future moves, and it’s infinite ability of a new game every single time you play.
The picture is three of my five grandchildren. I love teaching them as I loved teaching my own children when they were young. It’s a game that like no other game, excels in “tricking” your opponent that he or she is making the right move, when in fact, they are opening themselves up for a huge take-over in about 4 to 6 moves later. Chess is a game that is all about deception!
The greatest chess game ever played and is still on the clock, is the one by God and Satan. The entire Old Testament predicted the death of the Messiah as a substitute for the sins of his children and that is why Satan attempted to derail God’s plan to send his son; but little did Satan know that he, the great deceiver, was being duped by God. ‘
Satan first attempted to take Jesus out as a baby by inciting King Herod to slaughter all the baby boys 2 years old and under in the region where Jesus was born. Satan’s next move that we see was to disqualify him in the wilderness by getting Jesus to distrust his father’s care for him. Next, Satan begins to attack the Father’s moves by stirring up jealousy in the hearts of the Pharisees – they’ll pepper him with questions by which will humiliate him and the crowds will turn away from Jesus. Satan kept this strategy up for over two years.
What was the Father doing? Setting up the checkmate. With every move the Father was cleverly deceiving Satan into thinking that he was getting the upper hand. Finally, in a rage of furious moves, one after another, like world champions coming down to the final moves moving faster and faster, Satan switches his technique: ever since Jesus’ baptism, Satan has been trying to publicly disgrace and disqualify him in front of his peers, but it’s not working.
Satan then incites Judas Iscariot to betray him – he incites a mob crowd to demand crucifixion – he moves Pontius Pilate to be more fearful of resisting the crowds plea than doing the right thing and releasing him. It seems that God the Father has been out-maneuvered at last. God is boxed in and the gambit is set. Jesus, the most valuable piece on the board is going to be taken – he’s exposed – the Father must sacrifice his very best. Game over?
“Not so fast”, says the Father. “I’ve got one more move to make: Resurrection!” Now that is a Champion Move. Instead of surrendering like a good loser, Satan, stunned to silence and filled with furry (“for he knows his time is short”), resorts to persecuting those who love the priceless treasure of the Father.
Fear not Church – the Father is still playing. The grandest move is yet to come and it is certain: “. . . and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10).