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MESSAGE FOR THE FORTNIGHT
 
 
 

TURNING THE TABLES

Before coming to the spiritual realm, for once I would like to step into a world of fizz and come up with a fizzy true account, which is all about ‘ambush marketing’ in the Cola world. Most of the Cricket lovers would know that the last ICC Cricket World cup staged in the subcontinent was in 1996, which incidentally was clinched by a sub continental team from the  Emerald  isles.

However even before that mega event symbolizing ‘war’ for cricket supremacy commenced, there was corporate cola ‘war’ being fought furiously on the sidelines between two cola giants -Coca Cola and Pepsi- for bagging the title of the Official drink of the tournament. The former, of course flexing a greater financial muscle outbid the latter and clinched that coveted title, which it presumed logically would act as springboard for it to enhance its sales volume by leaps and bounds but unfortunately it had reckoned without the smaller Pepsi’s infinite creativity in its advertising department.

Pepsi, though, it lost out on the ‘war’ of becoming the ‘official’ drink, turned the tables squarely on Coke, by coming out with what many advertising gurus’ still reckon as most creative punch line in the Indian advertising history especially considering the adverse circumstances’ during which it was coined. “There is nothing official, about it”… this was one punch line (still lingering in our memory) which turned cola war that seemed to be going the Coke’s way on its head, as every one simply bought into it excitedly resulting in Pepsi sales booming during that period like never before. Besides enjoying a bottle of Pepsi, just about everybody started using that punch line with a relish even in normal conversations, so much so, I remember reading in Sportstar that in a English county game after the WC 1996, the person who stood in for a sick official scorer and compiled the scores in the latter’s absence was nicknamed ….you guessed it …Pepsi…because there was ‘nothing official about him’.

In the Biblical realm, ever since man’s fall in the Garden of Eden with tragic consequences, the good Lord had been showing glimpses of His masterly redemption plan throughout history in order that nobody should attribute Christ’s atoning death on the cross to mere coincidence. The vicarious sacrifice on the cross would be bereft of its paramount significance, if it were a mere event in history and not a watershed moment, which in fact, it is. Forget human historical calendar being split into BC and AD, millions of human lives since Christ’s I advent have been split into BC and AD. Many like Zacchaeus and apostle Paul would testify with their words and actions what they were ‘Before Christ’ came into their lives and what they became ‘After Christ’ entered their lives. Sinner turned saint tales-all by Christ’s power- still regale the world.

Even before God’s transforming power started speaking loud and clear in the believer’s lives making them as instruments of change for good, God in His infinite wisdom, had been portraying Christ’s victory (by way of his atoning sacrifice on the cross) through several landmark Biblical events. For instance, the lambs that died in order God could cloth the naked Adam and Eve with their skin (Genesis 3:21) signified the coming Christ. If the God –provided lamb that was eventually sacrificed on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:13) by father Abraham instead of Issac also was symbolic of the coming Christ, so too was the Pascal lamb sacrificed by the Jews on the night of First Passover so that the destroying angel would pass over their homes without entering in (Exodus 12:21-22). In fact, Christ’s laid his life on the cross on the Jewish Passover day to leave none in doubt on that score…that He indeed was God’s Pascal Lamb in human flesh and blood.

If the good Lord left no room for any skeptic to doubt on Christ’s vicarious sacrifice, it ought to follow that He through Biblical history would portray Christ’s eventual victory over Satan also, through at least one historical battle. None exemplifies Christ’s triumph over Satan more than David’s victory over Goliath in that immortal mortal combat.

Consider and compare David’s way of slaying his formidable foe with what is penned in Hebrews 2:14 which reads thus…

“ Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil…

We all know what comprised David’s weapons- a shepherd’s staff, a slingshot and five smooth stones- when he went out to engage Goliath. Was there a sword, anywhere? NO SIR! Not for him any heavy armory which would restrict his free movements (I Sam 17:38-40). When the blasphemous Goliath fell struck in his forehead by a stone released with lethal power and accuracy by a shepherd boy, what did that shepherd boy use to finish off the fallen giant? Goliath’s own sword or any sword of the Jewish army bearing its proud insignia? Bible says emphatically that he used the fallen philistine’s “own sword” to slay him. (I Sam 17:51). Incidentally, there was ‘nothing officially Jewish’ about that weapon. Right?

Now once again pore over Heb 2:14 and let the remarkable similarity register! What did Christ use to score a victory over devil? Death, which was, actually Satan’s trump card. Amazing, isn’t it…the similarity. Hallelujah! Like his earthly ancestor, Christ turned the tables on Satan by using its own main weapon against it.

The way to eternal life is through resurrection but the way to resurrection is through death. Before resurrection, Christ by dying destroyed death. So that… let Book of Hebrews take over again…

“He might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (verse 15)

An event absolutely certain that terrifies normal people more than anything else is death…for in death man steps into the unknown bereft of all control he had been hitherto exercising over his life. But when we receive Jesus Christ, death holds no more fear. We have been released from bondage to the fear of death and instead actually look forward to it. We say with apostle Paul “ For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 2:15) for death now has lost its sting (I Cor 15:55). Death doesn’t hold any fear, for a Christian, as it is no longer a master, which shoves us into the hell fire but rather a humble servant, which merely ushers us into our Heavenly Father’s glorious home. The tables now are well and truly turned, thanks to Christ’s victory on the cross!! HALLELUJAH!!!


Yours in His service,


(Suresh Manoharan)