But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6, N.K.J.V.)
Before the invention of electric telegraph machines and Morse code, messages were sent long distance by means of semaphoring. England’s version of semaphoring involved signalmen using coded visual imagery to spell out messages (letter by letter, word by word) to sentries who sat with telescopes in hand atop high buildings. The sentries would then relay the messages to those who were awaiting the information.
As one often-told story has it, in the wake of the great Battle of Waterloo in which Napoleon’s French troops took on the English troops of The Duke of Wellington, a signalman on board an English ship semaphored the first word, “Wellington,” to a sentry who was sitting atop England’s Winchester Cathedral. Then the signalman sent the next word, “defeated,” just before an eerie fog settled upon the whole area, The fog was so thick that the sentry atop Winchester Cathedral couldn’t even see the ship, let alone any visual signals being sent from it. And so, as the fog continued to disrupt communications for the next few hours, the message “Wellington defeated” spread throughout England like wildfire. That, of course, was terrible news for the nation.
At some point, however, the fog lifted just as suddenly as it had appeared, and the signalman was able to finish sending his message. And what was the entirety of the message? It was: “Wellington defeated the enemy.” With that news, England’s gloom was turned to joy.
Okay, so is this famous old story true? I have no idea. All I know for sure is that it makes for a powerful illustration in relation to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Symbolically speaking, we might say that when the dead body of Jesus was laid in that tomb after His crucifixion, a fog settled upon the land, and that fog prevented the rest of the message from being heard.
Ah, but on the third day, the fog lifted as Jesus arose victorious from the grave. That’s why, every Easter Sunday (and, really, every Sunday), we Christians celebrate the lifting of the fog and the completion of the message. Needless to say, we must never leave Christ’s body hanging dead on the cross or decomposing in the tomb, and we must always make sure that the world hears ALL the message.