This Sunday at Harvest in Riverside, I will be speaking on the meaning of Easter. I hope you can join us for one of our four services—5:45 A.M., 7:45 A.M., 9:45 A.M., and 11:45 A.M.
They will also be webcast live at harvest.org.
It was June 18, 1815—the Battle of Waterloo, the decisive moment of the Napoleonic Wars. The French, under the command of Napoleon, were fighting the allied forces of the British, Dutch, and Germans, under the command of the Duke of Wellington.
The people of England depended on a system of signals to find out how the battle was going. One of these signals was on the tower of Winchester Cathedral.
Late in the day, it flashed the signal: “W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N—D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D . . . ” At that moment, a bank of fog rolled in, making it impossible to read the message.
The news of defeat quickly spread throughout the city. The people were devastated to hear that their nation had lost the battle.
Suddenly, the fog lifted and the rest of the message could be read. The message wasn’t just two words, but four.
The complete message was: “W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N—D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D—T-H-E—E-N-E-M-Y!”
It took only a few minutes for the good news to spread. Sorrow was turned into joy, defeat was turned into victory!
The same thing happened at the resurrection of Jesus.
When Jesus died on the cross, hope died in the hearts of His disciples. After the crucifixion, the fog of disappointment and misunderstanding crept in on the friends of Jesus.
But they had read only part of the message: “Christ Defeated . . . ”
On the third day, the fog of disappointment and misunderstanding lifted, and the world received the complete message: “Christ Defeated Death!!”
That really is the great message of the resurrection of Jesus, that death is not the end.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25 NKJV).
The Bible tells us, “We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” (1 Thessalonians 4:14 NIV).