Don’t miss the full message

I heard it as a true story, but perhaps it’s just a really great parable. A certain country had been at war with another. From a high cliff above the sea, mounted messengers watched for returning naval ships, their sharp eyes focussed below. A patchy fog blanketed the water, interrupting their view.   

The horses shifted restlessly. Soon they would gallop throughout the small country as their riders proclaimed the most recent news to eagerly waiting citizens. Everyone knew the country’s fate lay in jeopardy.

Far below, a battle-worn ship emerged from the fog. Seeing the messengers above, an officer on deck began waving a pair of semaphore flags. Letter by letter came the message. “O-U-R G-E-N-E-R-A-L…a pause followed and the signalman continued, again, letter by letter. D-E-F-E-A-T-E-D.

High above, shoulders slumped as fog once again shrouded the ship and it slipped from sight.

The messengers rode fast and far, declaring the news no one wished to hear. “Our general defeated! Our general defeated! Their devastated countrymen responded with horror and grief. Many rushed to the docks, waiting for the ship to come to port. Seeing the wailing crowd, the naval officers, greatly puzzled, asked what had happened to bring them to such a state. “We heard your message,” they responded. “Our general defeated!”

“But that’s not right,” the ship crew replied. You didn’t get the full message. ‘Our general DEFEATED THE ENEMY!’”

The Bible records that on the day Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord of heaven and earth, was crucified, he bowed his head and uttered three final words. “It is finished.” Many mocked. Others wept. Some sighed and walked away, disappointed at losing a remarkable and radical teacher.  A miracle-worker. A man many had recently been certain could and would lead the Jews to military victory over their Roman rulers. Instead, his lifeless body would be left to rot (or so they thought) in a borrowed tomb, its door barred by a massive stone.  

“Jesus defeated!” The news spread throughout the land, and the crucifixion story of the ages rang throughout history. Over two millennia later, many, their vision blurred by skepticism and unbelief, still declare that to be the full message.

Not so. Three days later God rolled the stone away. Jesus walked out, fully alive. Resurrected. Victorious in the battle against the enemy’s strongest weapon—death itself.

That victory changed history; altered countless destinies of those who have embraced God’s only Son as Saviour, friend, and Lord. For those people, death is merely a door to an infinitely better, never-ending life. A life lived in the company of all other believers throughout time. An unspeakably full life, enjoying the presence of Jesus in the place he has prepared for those who love him. A life filled with infinitely wondrous adventures beyond comprehension here.

Jesus defeated? Don’t believe it. Here’s the full message: Jesus defeated the enemy! Death is swallowed up by victory.

Blessed Easter, friends. Heaven rules.

Back to Top