Communion Meditation: Getting the message …
When I came across the story below, it didn’t have any attribution for a source. I still haven’t been able to discover its author, but I want to share the story with you …
“It is said that on the evening of June 18, 1815 a man stood in the tower of England’s Winchester Cathedral gazing anxiously out to sea. At last he found what he was looking for – a ship sending a signal by use of 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 once ruled all of Europe bar England remained a threat, and now the decisive Battle of Waterloo had been fought.
“So, as he stood in the tower of Winchester Cathedral our man waited 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 signaled 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!
“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!'”
Christ has fought the battle of the ages on our behalf. When we come to the Communion table and partake of the emblems representing His shed blood and broken body, the idea of His torture and death seems to be a story of defeat.
But we know the whole story!
“Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit,” 1 Peter 3:18.
It was by offering His body to be broken, and His blood to be shed, that He would defeat sin and death forever. Each time we gather at the Lord’s Table, we receive afresh the communique that “Christ defeated the enemy!”
Ponder for a while what that means for you …