Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Pacquiao Punch: A Unifying Theme

Pacquiao's Sunday victory was met with vigorous applause by Filipinos here and abroad. For who cannot help but feel a surge of national pride from within seeing the flag of the Philippines waved on that contested boxing ring?

News about that victory overshadowed several political and economic events of that day. The headlines proudly proclaim that Filipino Victory. Cellular networks were overloaded that day as text messages proclaiming the result of the bout flooded the airwaves. What a moment. It feels good again to be called a "Filipino". It seems that for a moment in eternity, we are bonded together as one. A hero that represented us came out victorious in a fight. What a feeling! The enemy has been defeated.

This trait is deeply ingrained in us. Not only in boxing, but also in some other endeavor as well. We find it easy to relate to a kababayan coming out in victory. We wanted to stand beside him. We wanted that association.

In John 12:32 Jesus said "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He was referring to his up coming death 6 days later when he said this. He knew the implications of his coming death.

Just like Pacquiao, Jesus faced a bout. At that time, eternity was at stake. Because of Sin, man is destined to spend eternity far from God's presence. But because of his great love, God the Father sent Jesus, the Son, to deal with Sin. Jesus obediently walked that path laid before him; yes, even if it means his death. And we know that three days later, he came out victorious.

We just have to realize that Jesus' victory can be ours, too. Isn't that what we look for a hero? If Pacquiao can unite us in a moment of eternity, Jesus can unite us for eternity. And these unity is not defined by geographic boundaries... nor physical realities. Our bond with Jesus is spiritual and eternal. That is, if we put our faith in him... that is, if we align with him. If we accept him in our heart.

Some papers have already mentioned that the Pacquiao fever is dying down. That moment in history is starting to be forgotten. Back to normal. Back to political and economic problems.

On the other hand, Jesus' victory over 2000 years ago is still very much alive in the memory of his believers. Simply because, it can't be suppressed.