The absolute best part of the movie is the championship match where Josh is matched up against an intimidating chess prodigy named Jonathan Poe. Josh’s opponent is at a point where he looks to have him on the ropes. To any observer the match is over, its just a matter of time before Josh will have to concede. But wait a minute, is it really over?
Josh’s chess mentor, Bruce Pandolfin, played by Ben Kingsley notes that Josh’s opponent (Jonathan) has just made a fatal mistake in their match. No one sees it, the question is does Josh see it? It is a setup that Josh and his mentor had trained for on previous occasions but does he have the ability to see the endgame. After much pondering, Josh’s mentor sees the gleam in Josh’s eye. “He’s got it! How do you know he’s got it, his father asks, who is watching alongside, “He’s got it!
Josh sees the endgame, 12 moves before it becomes a reality. The next scene is classic as Josh extends his hand to Jonathan to offer a draw so that the championship could be shared. His opponent is incredulous, “a draw, you’ve got to be kidding. Josh then states the following words; You’ve lost, you just don’t know it! Josh’s opponent refuses the offer of a draw and tells him to move. 12 moves later Josh wins the match.
I spent time speaking on this portion of the movie because it contains some powerful truths. Please take time to view the link below which features this moment in the movie. What is revealed in this truth should prove helpful as we navigate through our day-to-day life. Things are not always as they seem. Here is a simple contrast to help further illustrate my point.
Think for a moment when Jesus was dying upon the cross. It had the look of death and finality but the reality of what was accomplished at Calvary was that Jesus was openly triumphing over the powers of darkness (Colossians 2:15). To the natural eye it sure did not seem that way!
The enemy always seeks to induce a short-cut alternative to the sovereign direction of the Lord. Eat the fruit of the tree and you will be wise and be like God (Gen 3:5-6). Bow down to me and I will give you the glories of the kingdom (Matthew 4:8-9). Our adversary operates from a limited (here and now) type vision as do those who are partakers of his fruit. Those of limited vision have no ability to see the “bigger picture”. This can work one of two ways; it can produce an emboldened pride that is actually removed from the true “big picture” reality. Secondly, and just as dangerous, it can generate a sense of despair and hopelessness due to the overwhelming projection of defeat and fear. “O ye of little faith”.
Lot made a decision that looked good; a far better path than Abraham would undertake. Truth is, Abraham would function from a much higher vision and perspective than Lot (Hebrews 11:8-10). Sadly, there are far more Lot’s than Abraham’s in a modern-day version of that event.
The days before us are going to be both dark and glorious (Isaiah 60:1-5). Let the message and lesson from Josh’s match serve as an inspiration and guide in life. It’s time we as Christians’ allow our vision to be lifted higher and start acting like we have won and know that we have won. Not because we are anything special but due to the victory Christ secured at the cross. We are on the winning side. Do we know it?