On 18 June 1815, England’s Lord Wellington fought Napoleon at Waterloo. England waited for news of the outcome. Finally, some signal ships came into view. Through the mist, the lookout was just able to read: “Wellington defeated”. The bad news spread quickly. Soon the fog lifted, however, and it became clear that the lookout had reacted too quickly. The full message now came into view: “Wellington defeated Napoleon.”

Jesus’ followers felt the message of the cross was clear: “Jesus defeated”. Jesus had said He was the Saviour of the world. But His death had ended all hope. They were left with nothing but a dead body to prepare for burial. Yet when the women came to the tomb, they were faced with the rolled-away stone (Luke 24:2), the empty tomb (v.3) and a big announcement (vv.5-6)!

Then the ‘mist’ of unbelief cleared away as they remembered Jesus promising to rise again once He had paid for sin (v.8). The women rushed to share the full message with the disciples: “Jesus defeated death” (vv.9-10). The disciples, however, thought the women were talking rubbish (v.11). Even after checking the tomb, Peter didn’t believe straight away (v.12).

We also have a choice to make about Jesus’ resurrection. Will you dismiss it as an “idle tale” or gladly accept it as your own victory over sin and death?

Jesus defeated death.


Paul Baxendale


Our Daily Bread