On the evening of 18th June 1815 a man stood in the tower of Winchester Cathedral gazing anxiously out to sea. Eventually he found what he was looking for - a ship sending a signal using lights. He strained to see the message. All of England held its breath with him, wanting to know the outcome of the war between their military leader, the Duke of Wellington, and the French dictator Napoleon Bonaparte. Bonaparte, who had at one time ruled much of Europe, remained a threat and now the decisive Battle of Waterloo had been fought. So, as he stood in the tower of Winchester Cathedral this man waited anxiously to relay the news that would determine England's future. The signal came just as a heavy fog was rolling in. It only just got through, but how he wished it hadn't, for the signal read: "Wellington defeated." The man signalled to other stations and the news spread across the countryside, bringing great gloom and sadness. But then a great reversal. The fog lifted, and the message was sent again, this time in full: "Wellington defeated the enemy". Joy! Happiness! Delirium! Wellington had won!
Waterloo was a significant victory in our history...and yet nothing by comparison with what took place at Calvary 2000 years ago. On Good Friday it seemed the message was "Christ defeated", but three days later we discover that the message had not been received in full. The resurrection reverses what we initially thought and declares "Christ defeated the enemy!" In 1 Corinthians 15 v54-57 we read, “Death has been swallowed up in victory. “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and the eternal life-giving victory which only He can give? The London-based Methodist minister W.E. Sangster contracted an incurable disease that slowly caused his muscles to waste away, his voice to fail and his throat to become unable to swallow. He continued in ministry, right up until the point where his voice had gone and he could barely hold a pen. On Easter morning 1960, just a few weeks before he died, he wrote in a letter to his daughter: "It is terrible to wake up on Easter morning and have no voice with which to shout "He is risen!" - but it would be even more terrible to have a voice and not have anything to shout about."
Jesus Christ has Risen.