The Battle of Waterloo, one of the most famous battles in history, occurred on the mainland of Europe on June 18, 1815. It pitted the French army, commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte, against the Anglo-German-Dutch forces lead by the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian forces commanded by General Gephard Blucher. Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo ended the twelve-year period of wars known as the Napoleonic Wars.
There is an interesting story about how the news about Waterloo reached England.
News about the English victory was carried first by a ship that sailed from Europe across the English Channel to England’s southern coast. The news was then relayed from the coast by signal flags. When the report was received at Winchester , signalers with flags on top of the Winchester Cathedral began to spell out Wellington ‘s defeat of Napoleon to the entire city: “W-e-l-l-i-n-g-t-o-n – d-e-f-e-a-t-e-d “ However, before the message could be completed, a heavy fog moved in. The REST of the message was hidden from England….
Based on incomplete information, the citizens of England thought Napoleon had won. That would have been a devastating defeat for England. Gloom filled the nation as the bad news quickly spread everywhere.
But when the mist began to lift, the flags high up on Winchester Cathedral completed the news. The flags spelled out this triumphant message: “W-e-l-l-i-n-g-t-o-n – d-e-f-e-a-t-e-d – t-h-e – e-n-e-m-y!”
The message of DEFEAT was changed into one of VICTORY! Joy immediately replaced the gloom. All over England people danced in the streets, rejoicing at this great victory over one of the most dangerous enemies the nation had ever faced.
When Jesus died on the cross, gloom filled the hearts of His disciples.
His death seemed to them to spell out a bitter defeat – the end of ALL they hoped God would accomplish through THIS man. Hopelessness and despair set in….
Yet, three days later, God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 1:3-4). What was believed to be DEFEAT turned out to be a glorious VICTORY, for through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, God provided the means for salvation from SIN (Colossians 2:13-15).
Our enemy, Satan, seeks to defeat US through our sins (1 Peter 5:8). Yet, on the cross, Jesus paid the price for our redemption (1 Peter 1:18-19). Through Him, we can be victorious! VICTORY belongs to those who will: believe in Him and trust Him (Acts 16:30-31), repent of their sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), be baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38), AND faithfully follow Him ALL the days of their lives (1 John 1:7).
Because of Christ, there can be VICTORY where there was once thought to be DEFEAT!