By the time that many of you read this, the events for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth will be well underway and later today, the official ten days of mourning will be complete. American flags that have been at half-staff since the day of her death will return to their regular height and things in Great Britain will start to return to a new normal.
During this time, many folks in the British Empire have been off work celebrating the life of the Queen and there will undoubtedly be an adjustment as the country transitions from a Queen to a King. In fact, Britain hasn’t had a King during my entire lifetime. And Queen Elizabeth served as monarch longer than any other royal in British history.
As a point of interest, the longest reigning monarch in history is King Louis XIV of France who ascended the throne at the age of four and served for 72 years, 110 days compared to Queen Elizabeth’s reign of 70 years, 214 days. As time goes on, currency and many other things will change. There are certain protocols that also occur. For example, King Charles will be facing the opposite direction of Elizabeth on new currency – profiles alternate left and then right, changing with every new monarch. Charles will have his left profile displayed.
Another little known fact is the as soon as the monarch passes away, the heir is officially the King or Queen. Hence we have the phrase, “the Queen is dead, long live the King.” To be sure, there is an accession council and requirements about an oath to be true to the church. It is also customary that there are agreements in place regarding money, charities, income to/from various geographic regions and places, as well as a host of other rituals and promises to be completed.
Sometime, probably with a year, King Charles will have his coronation ceremony. Queen Elizabeth was on the throne about 14 months before her coronation in June, 1953. This really doesn’t affect the legitimacy of the monarchy or the line of succession. Charles became the King upon the death of his mother and the monarchy will continue unimpeded.
Of course, if you’ve been with me for any length of time, you must know where I am headed tonight. We are told that Jesus was not only a prophet and priest, but He is also the eternal King. There are many passages that let us know that Jesus will reign forever. No need for accession councils, funeral arrangements or acts of Parliament. Jesus is the One who was, is and will be forever. While His first two offices, those of prophet (representing God the Father to the people) and priest (representing the people to God) are evident throughout the Old and New Testament, Revelation affirms that he is King of kings and Lord of lords. There is none higher – Hallelujah!
Tonight’s verse is one of many that profess the kingship of Jesus and I don’t know of a verse that states it any better than Revelation 17:14. John tells us, as part of his vision and recorded in his recollections of heaven, “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”
What a great comfort that is to us. My encouragement this evening is that we have the assurance that there will never be a change in the eternal monarch of our lives. Jesus will reign forever and ever, throughout all eternity and we are his co-heirs. My prayer is that we will rest in the eternal security that we have in Christ. Wonderful Queen Elizabeth has earned her eternal rest as a follower of Jesus, being reunited with Prince Philip who passed away last year. King Charles III is on the throne for a season and we wish him a successful reign as well. Prince William will continue his training as the heir to the British throne. For us, our eternal King is already in heaven waiting for us… Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…