Light for the Last Days

SHORT TALK VIDEO

Let’s just have a word of prayer as we come to the Word of God, praise God.

Lord, we thank you for your Word. We thank you for the truth of your Word. We pray that you bless the preaching of your Word and build us up in our faith. In Jesus name, amen.

I, like most of you, have been watching the television, looking at the news and seeing all the pictures of the Queen lying-in-state and all the pomp and ceremony that’s been around it.

As I was watching the television and seeing Westminster Hall, the coffin draped with the flags and all the soldiers standing by, and the multitudes of people passing by, I thought, ‘What’s the Lord, I said, ‘What do you think about this Lord?’

And this verse slipped into my mind from Isaiah 53:

3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

What I’m going to say is NOT to criticize the mourning for the Queen. She was a wonderful lady and it’s good that people should remember her; particularly, that she had a living faith in Jesus Christ.

What struck me was the contrast between what’s happening with her death and what happened with the death of Jesus.

As we saw the pomp and ceremony which the British do so well, along with queuing, and we saw all the gorgeous colours and all these pictures of the soldiers and the people, the lying-in-state, and all the soldiers watching over her.

It’s very impressive: the fine livery, the precision. They’re standing there and, all the way, they all work together. The whole thing is so impressive visually. You’ve got thousands of people lining the streets to honour her as she goes past, and now, thousands more queuing for hours to pass by a coffin just for a brief moment, to pay their respects to the Queen in Westminster Hall.

And the cameras bearing the images into millions of homes, showing the pictures both of Edinburgh, and now from London with the quiet, reverential coventry and all the people giving their thoughts, honouring the Queen and the royal family, standing around her, in their grief and their love for the Queen, being supported by the people.

We see now the dignitaries coming in from all around the world to give honour and praise to the Queen and to join in the funeral tomorrow which millions will watch on television. It’s all very impressive!

Just contrast that with what we read in the Gospels about the death of Jesus, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, being whipped, humiliated, led through the streets of Jerusalem carrying His cross up to the Hill of Calvary. And then, the soldiers taking Him and crucifying Him, driving the nails into His flesh as He hung on the cross, facing public humiliation and searing pain, hearing the crowds mocking Him.

Ina Mar – 2015

For a contrast, you just have to look at the account of the crucifixion and I’m going to draw one or two parallels out of it. I’ll read from Matthew’s Gospel chapter 27.

Starting at verse 27,

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. 28 And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.

32 Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. 33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, 34 they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.

35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:

“They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”

Matthew 27.27-35

36 Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. 37 And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:

THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.

39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.

Matthew 27.36-44

45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” 48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.

49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.”

50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Matthew 27.45-53

54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

55 And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.

Matthew 27.27-61

And just the first few verses of chapter 28,

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”

8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

Matthew 28.1-8

We all know the story so well and yet, every time I read it, it speaks to me about the Lord and His love. And how there is such a contrast with what we’ve seen in the last week with the memorials for the Queen.

Your complete guide to the Queen’s funeral

Tony Pearce

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