Checkmate of Timeless Victory (Advent 9, 2016)

When I think of the plan of God, I’m picturing the game of chess. Not that I’ve played much chess or am particularly good at it. But one of the reasons I don’t sleep very much is that my mind is on creative overdrive …all the time. I run on adrenaline and analogy. So, chess–and I ask myself whether the birth of Christ was the victory as the game ending checkmate … or was it just check with Easter being checkmate?

I’d argue Christ’s birth was checkmate because God’s Word is always true. Once the Son of God was incarnate, the victory was already achieved even if our adversary still investigates every possible play knowing fully that it’s “game over.” 

timeless-joy-checkmate-victoryIsaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

How is this checkmate? What’s the difference?

Check: “Usually, novice players are expected to announce check when it happens in order to be sure their opponent notices the situation. Among more experienced players, many consider it rude to announce a check, as these players expect to notice the check themselves. If your king is in check, you must find a way to prevent the king from being captured.” There are three ways to accomplish this: (1) move the king, (2) block the check with another piece, or (3) capture the attacker.

Checkmate: If a king is under attack, but none of these methods work to prevent the king’s capture, the result is a checkmate and it ends the game immediately.

So then why do I think this is checkmate and not check?

Well, the birth of the Messiah made the victory as good as done. Because Jesus is God. He’d make it to the Cross and the tomb and be resurrected just as God said, because God’s Word never fails. God never fails.  And Jesus is God. There are no moves Satan could make to sideline or block Christ…and there was no taking Him hostage or out of His divinity.

This is why the angels could pronounce the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord, as good news of great joy (checkmate) and not just cheering the latest play as clever while Satan finds a real way out to remain as prince of this world.  Once Jesus was born King of kings, Lord of lords, and Savior, it’s “game over.”

Reflect upon the “already but not yet” aspect of the Timeless Victory in Isaiah 9.

In the birth narrative, what is already and what is not yet? Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

What does Satan hope to accomplish in exploring every move even though it’s ultimately defeat?  He has a purpose in mind.


Join me for Advent 2016 Devotionals called Timeless: the Message of Christmas for All Ages beginning November 27, 2106.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love will be ours as we look into the Word, see the face of our Lord Jesus, and experience restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless.

Advent began November 27, 2016.  If you’re already signed up on my Home Page sidebar to receive posts, you’ll get the Advent devotionals automatically.  If you haven’t signed up, today is a great day to do so.  Advent and Lenten devotionals remain among my most popular offerings.  You don’t want to miss this great way to prepare your heart for the true meaning of Christmas!

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 5, 2016

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