Daily Readings/ Editorial
Scriptures to be read before the sermon on Sunday, March 29:
Monday: John 20:19-21
Tuesday: John 20:24-31
Wednesday: John 20:19-21
Thursday: John 20:24-31
Friday: John 20:19-21
Saturday: John 20:24-31
“The Greatest Victory”
Donald Grey Barnhouse wrote that when he was in his late twenties, he went to Winchester, England. The place is famous for its college and cathedral. The verger of the cathedral had been there many, many years, and he delighted in showing people around the cathedral. He also loved to tell the story of how the news of the battle of Waterloo came to England.
At that battle, General Wellington commanded the English forces, while the great Napoleon commanded the French army. The English won the battle which effectively ended the Napoleonic Wars. Such great news had to be sent back to England as quickly as possible. But since there were no telegrams in those days, they had to use semaphore – flag signals. The way it worked was that a series of semaphore stations were placed across the countryside. Each station had a signalman who would flag the message on to the next signalman until the message was signaled to a sailing ship. When the sailing ship came close enough to the coast of England, a signalman would then signal the news to another signalman on top of Winchester Cathedral.
The signalman on top of the Cathedral received the first semaphored word – “Wellington.” The next word he received was “defeated,” but then the fog came down and the ship could not be seen. Word began to spread all over England that “Wellington had been defeated.” As you might imagine, a great gloom fell over everyone.
When the fog lifted two or three hours later, the full signal was received – “Wellington defeated the enemy.” Then, all England rejoiced.
There was, as we know, another day like that - the day that the body of our Lord Jesus Christ was put in the tomb. For everyone in the country, the news was that his life had ended. For his disciples, there was great gloom and sadness. It certainly appeared that the enemy was victorious.
But after three days, the stone was rolled away, and Jesus came forth from the tomb as the victorious Lord and Savior who had conquered the most difficult enemy of all – death! As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
The writer of John’s Gospel emphasized in John 20:30-31 what happened as a result, where we read that Jesus did many miraculous signs (to be seen like “signal flags”) so that we might see and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing we may have life in Him – the greatest victory!