Posts Tagged ‘Rassilon’

Verses 14-15: “But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.””

The following is an excerpt from the 25th anniversary episode of BBC’s Doctor Who, entitled “The Five Doctors”:

The First Doctor and Tegan had entered Rassilon’s Dark Tower, at the heart of which was his tomb. The Doctor, along with later regenerations of himself, past and current companions, and past enemies, was forced to play the Game of Rassilon, the greatest of the Time Lords of Gallifrey. Standing just inside the entrance was a checkerboard-painted floor. Realizing it might be a trap, the Doctor held Tegan back while he pitched coins onto each row. Tegan, the Earth-born stewardess, was impatient, but the Doctor was insistent. About halfway across with the coins, the trap was sprung. Electrical bolts showered down upon the checkerboard floor!

Doctor: “Diabolical ingenuity! Nothing happens until you reach the fifth row, halfway,…and then the entire board becomes a death-trap!”
(The Master, the Doctor’s arch-enemy in later regenerations, appears behind them)
Master: “Our ancestors had such a wonderful sense of humor.”
Doctor: (not recognizing the Master, since he not encountered him in this incarnation) “Do I know you, young man?”
Master: “Believe it or not, we were at the Academy together.”
Tegan: (knowing who the Master was) “What do YOU want?”
Master: “To help.” (Ironically, he had been really sent by the High Council of Gallifrey to rescue the Doctor)
Tegan: (sarcastically) “That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day.”
Master: “Believe what you like; I should advise you to hide. I’ve got some very suspicious allies close behind me.” (At this point, a squad of Cybermen slowly enter the hall. Tegan pulls the First Doctor behind a wall.)

The Cybermen had captured the Master, and he deceptively offered to be their guide. He demonstrates how to cross the checkerboard safely, much to the surprise of the Doctor and Tegan. Even after most of the Cyber-patrol was struck down by the lightning, the Master reassures the Cyber-Leader that the safe path still exists, it just changes every time. The Master treacherously shoots the Cyber-Leader as they are crossing the board; chuckling, he crosses back to the Doctor and Tegan.

Tegan: “Wasn’t that a little ruthless, even for you?”
Master: “In one of the many wars on your miserable little planet, they used to drive sheep across mine fields…principle’s the same.”
Tegan: “Not quite…this mine field is still just as dangerous!”
Master: “Do you think so?” (The Master then hops and skips differently across the board to the other side). “Try it Doctor, it’s as easy as pie!”
(the Master disappears down the opposite corridor.)
Doctor: “What an extraordinary fellow. As easy as pie? As easy as pie??”
Tegan: “That’s what he said.”
Doctor: “No, he didn’t! He said ‘easy as PI’, the Greek letter Pi!”

The Doctor went on to explain that by using the mathematical formula for Pi, you could figure out the safe way to cross, which he did, and then led Tegan across as well.

That took a while to detail to you, but I wanted to explain the background of this scene from one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes, so that I could point out that, although the Master was taunting the Doctor by saying “easy as pie”, he also, accidentally or on purpose, gave him a clue to the solution. So, “easy as pie” had two meanings.

Peter was on the rooftop of Simon the tanner’s house, praying and being hungry, too. Suddenly a vision appeared to him of a great blanket of all sorts of animals in it, being lowered to him, and the Holy Spirit instructing him to kill and to eat. Peter, still reacting with his Jewish upbringing, said he shouldn’t eat unclean animals. The Holy Spirit continues to tell him that what God has declared clean is clean indeed.

I once heard someone joke (and I wish I could recall who!), “And God made barbeque, and said it is good!” 🙂 God told Peter that the animals were clean to eat. But the double meaning, just like “easy as pie”, comes when Cornelius’s visitors arrive, and Peter realizes that God also meant that salvation was no longer just for the Jews! He realized it and preached it…as easy as pie.

More to come.

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Verse 21: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

“To lose is to win and he who wins shall lose” was the riddle from the ancient Gallifreyan message that the previous incarnations of The Doctor had deciphered. Once President Borusa, the Lord President of Gallifrey, appeared with the current Doctor in thrall inside the Tomb of Rassilon in the Dark Tower of the Death Zone, the other Doctors realized that it was Borusa who had captured them. He had pitted them in the game of Rassilon so that he could claim what Rassilon had discovered: immortality. Though Rassilon appears and asks the Doctors if he should grant Borusa’s request, they all voice their opposition (including the current Doctor who the others have freed)…all except the First and original Doctor, who tells Rassilon to give Borusa what he’s asked for. Rassilon does grant Borusa immortality…as part of the living rock of his tomb, where others before him have tried to claim immortality! Thus with Borusa defeated, the first Doctor tells the others that he had figured out the riddle: “I suddenly realised what the old proverb meant: “To lose is to win, and he who wins shall lose.” It was all part of Rassilon’s trap to find out who wanted immortality and put him out of the way. He knew very well that immortality was a curse. Not a blessing.” http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/First_Doctor#The_Five_Doctors_.5B20.7.5D .

To read more about the plot of one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes, please click the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Five_Doctors .

One might think that the statement Paul makes in verse 21 is equally mystifying, but it’s not. He knew that as long as he lived on this old Earth, that he was to live for Christ, to spread the Gospel…Paul’s life didn’t matter, only Jesus did. And even if he died, then he would be in Heaven with Jesus! This would, in Paul’s eyes, be the win-win situation! Now Jesus wants us to live for Him while we’re here; we should be spreading the Gospel. We shouldn’t fear death though, because if you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you’ll be with Him in paradise the moment your physical body expires.

That is the attitude we should have today.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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