RIVALRY. It is one thing that is rooted so deeply in the nature of mankind since the beginning of their story, the story of a man who murder his own brother. It is also very much engraved in the way we see everything. We can sense the notion of rivalry when we look at our school grading system, our profession, our social standing, our finance, and even when we look at the stars in sky!?
It is another time of year when we can see Mars, Saturn and Antares close to each other. Pictures were taken on June 6-7, 2016, from Perth, Australia.
Meet Antares. One of the brightest and biggest star in our night sky. It’s radius is about 3 AU (Astronomical Unit). How long is AU? Well, one AU is the distance from our blue planet to the Sun. Yes, that’s right! The radius of Antares is NOT three times of our Sun, but it is three times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. It is like if you take three way trips between the Earth and the Sun. So imagine a picture of our solar system: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, etc… If we replace the Sun in the system with Antares, then Jupiter will be the first planet in the system. Why? Because Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars will be inside the star. (Hmm.. still think you are the biggest, greatest and most important person in the universe?)
Back to the topic of Rivalry. Antares got its name because for the stargazers on earth, the star looks a lot like Mars. It is bright and it is red. Mars is a planet (planet literally means wanderer). So unlike Antares or all other star constellations, Mars’ position in the sky is not fixed. It changes over the year. But after some period of years, there will always come a time in which Mars is getting brighter and getting closer to Antares. It looks as if the red planet is taunting the red star. Hence, the star is named Antares, which is Anti-Ares or Anti-Mars (Mars is the Roman’s god of war just like Ares is the Greek’s god of war).
Why is it everytime we see something similar, even the faraway stars, we see rivalry? Maybe it is because we are just like our first ancestor, Adam, who was created in the Image and Likeness of God, and yet decided to be the Rival of God instead. He blatantly challenged the authority of the good God, thought that by doing so he can be equal with God. He was cast out and he received the curse of death as his legacy. So much for taunting the One who brings out each stars on heaven by calling their name.
And yet, about 2000 years ago, something unfathomable yet wonderful happens in the story of mankind. That is when the One who was “though in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
I am but an unworthy sinner who has died in my rivalry against God. Because I who was not in the form of God, counted the equality with God a thing to be grasped! And yet, the Son of God, my Lord Jesus, who is God Himself, was willing to let go His equality as God, so that He can be equal with me, a sinner whose death is upon Him. He who knew no sin was made to be sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. He who was perfect and unblemished was sent to die on the cross, so that in Him we might have an abundant life.
He is the only kind of Lord that deserves to be worshiped and exalted because He does not gain His victory over His rivals (which is us, sinners) as the god of war who raised his sword. He gains victory over us by climbing up the cross for us. Only by looking at that cross, the desire for rivalry with God is subdued. Why would I want to rival God such as Him? My only desire now is to worship Him, to love Him, and to see His Name be exalted. For He has “received the name that is above every name, so that at His name every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
作者：Ivan Adi Raharjo