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:
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.
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,
And just the first few verses of chapter 28,
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.