By Andy Lund
The contest between Jesus and Satan is presented as a boxing match.
Commentator 1: Welcome to the World arena for what may become one of the all time great fights between two contestants who have faced each other on numerous past occasions but without a definitive outcome. Tonight threatens to be quite exciting as both contestants have promised that there will be a decision which will stand for ever. Both contestants are in their respective corners and ready for a real struggle.
Referee: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the World Arena for a cosmic struggle between in the Red Corner The Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, and in the blue corner the self-styled Prince of this World, Father of Lies, the Deceiver, Prince of Darkness. Satan for short. This is a contest to decide once and for all the world title, at present held, of course, by Satan.
C1: Well as you've heard from the referee, this is a cosmic contest and seldom can two contestants been so badly matched.
Satan stands in his corner looking all powerful, the champion he undoubtedly is, or at least has been up until now. Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God - well he has very little form up until now. No record much for us to go on and now he faces Satan as his first challenge. I should think it'll be all over in a matter of minutes.
Referee: Seconds out, round one.
C1: We have it from a very reliable source that Jesus Christ's training programme for the fight has been bizarre to say the least. He returns from a 40-day fasting session which would have brought most men to their knees, but it must be said he's still looking relatively fit.
Commentator 2: And Satan leads with a nasty attacking blow.
Satan: If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.
C1: Nasty that. Hitting where it really hurts. Has he any strength in him for retaliation?
Jesus: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of God's mouth.
C2: Oh, a good counter move. Quoting from scripture. A set-back for Satan here.
Satan: If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from this height, for it's written He will give his angels charge over you and on their hands they will bear you up.
C1: Nice move there. Straight back with a similar tactic. Worthy of the very cunning opponent that Satan so very obviously is.
Jesus: It is also written : You shall not tempt the Lord your God.
Commentator 2: Scripture for scripture here. Who would have thought this contest would have been so evenly matched? Jesus Christ would seem to have some inner resources he's drawing on. Perhaps the strange training programme is working after all.
C1: And strangely, Frank, the crowd seems to be getting behind Jesus. A virtual unknown until now, whereas Satan has universal fame and adulation. Hang on, though, he's coming back.
Satan: All these kingdoms I will give you if you fall down and worship me.
C1: A difficult one to resist this. He could walk straight into a trap here. Has Satan caught him with his guard down?
Jesus: Begone, Satan. It is written: You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.
C2: It's a pretty firm rebuff, and that with only a second left on the clock. Well, Satan gets his marching orders in this round and who would ever have believed it?
C1: Well, there's just time to go over to the red corner and learn something about the contestant.
C2: Well, yes, Harry, a virtual unknown here. The background is a bit hazy; apparently he grew up in a little-known village in a very humble home. He's been on the circuit now for under a year but is making one or two startling claims which we will have to see if he can live up to. I really do think, though, he's taken on a lot here in spite of a promising start.
C1: Well, Jesus Christ has come out of his corner like a rocket. And he's gone right into the attack. He's healing, he's preaching, he's casting out demons. This is quite incredible. There seems to be no stopping him. He's taken the fight right into the opposition camp.
C2: And just listen to that crowd. They're right behind him now.
(Woman mimes ailment. Satan mimes pain with every healing)
Jesus: Take heart - your sins are forgiven.
Man: My servant is lying paralyzed at home, sir.
Jesus: I will come and heal him.
Woman: Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.
Jesus: I will. Be clean.
Man: My mother-in-law has a fever.
(Jesus touches the woman. Woman mimes touching the hem of Jesus' garment.)
Jesus: Take heart, daughter. Your faith has made you well.
Man: My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and she will live.
(Jesus lays his hand on woman.)
Man and Woman together: Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!
C1: Well, how incredible again. All this action and Satan has hardly left his corner. The bell is only seconds away and he's looking like a defeated man. Is there any way back for him?
C2: Well, there's just time to go over to the blue corner to see the champion of this world - or should we be saying ex-champion? A fine pedigree this man has. World control for as long as anyone can remember. A list of triumphs as long as your arm. A very impressive management. In fact, some critics have said that Jesus is in the same camp, although he strenuously denies that.
C1: We're not quite sure who Christ's manager is, Frank. But whoever it is, he's got to be someone pretty special. It looks as if this rank outsider is going to take the contest now after that stunning second round. Wouldn't you say so, Frank?
C2: Yes, Harry. He seems absolutely unstoppable.
(BELL) And there goes the bell for round 3.
C1: But what's going on? Jesus Christ has not left his corner. He is looking pretty reluctant to do anything. If he doesn't hurry up and take the initiative, things could be looking pretty grim for him.
C2: This is a dreadful turn-around. He's like a lamb to the slaughter and Satan is out of his corner and I'm sure will not lose any time in using any advantage he now has.
(Mime: Satan goes up to Christ and kisses his cheek - 2 soldiers take Jesus away - spitting - crown of thorns - reed in hand - mocking - nailed to cross.)
Man: Hail, King of the Jews!
Woman: If you are the Son of God come down from the cross.
Man: He saved others, he cannot save himself.
Jesus: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Jesus: It is finished.
C1: And that's it. It's all over. A complete turn-around Just when it looked as if he was home and dry, the inexplicable has happened.
C2: I can still hardly believe it myself . The crowd, who were rooting for him until quite recently, has turned against him and without a single blow having been struck, Satan emerges as the victor. And look at him crowing - doesn't he just know it?
(Satan struts around. Christ is taken down from the cross and laid at Satan's feet.)
C1: Well, a terrific fight, but in the end, Frank, the predictable outcome. And with the news that the undefeated champion of the world, Satan, the Prince of Darkness, has retained his world title, we hand you back to the studio.
C2: Wait a minute, Harry. Unless my eyes deceive me, something unbelievable is happening here.
(Christ rises from the dead, effortlessly conquers Satan, throwing him to the ground, and takes up pose of foot on his chest in symbolic vanquisher mode. The crowd roars in approval.)
C1: What a comeback! There's no doubt about it. The contest has been turned on its head. This is truly amazing.
C2: Yes, Harry. It defies all the rules, of course. I don't think there's ever been a fight quite like it, but no-one is going to reverse this decision now. Christ, in a last minute extreme effort, has snatched the victory. The Prince of this world has been vanquished. There is a new World Champion and one who looks like he's going to hold the title for a very long time indeed. He has risen and he is the conqueror. The victory is His.
Jesus: The victory can be yours.
© Andy Lund 1999 All rights reserved
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