When my wife Karen was a girl, a lot of people said she looked like Queen Elizabeth. I know this for sure - Karen was always my queen.
Karen and the Queen shared a more important resemblance - a selfless dedication to a life of service to God and others. So Queen Elizabeth was always a little special to us.
Having just watched the incredible outpouring of respect and affection since her passing, she obviously had a special place in the hearts of millions. During her funeral, hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of London - in total silence. People waiting in a five-mile line to have one moment of paying their respects. In the center of it all, the flag-draped coffin with the jeweled crown on top.
As members of the Royal Guard carried the coffin out of Westminster Cathedral - with massive crowds awaiting the processional through the streets of London - a very different picture flashed in my mind.
Of a ragtag group of weeping friends, hurriedly carrying the brutalized body of Jesus to a garden tomb. Jesus, the One of whom the Bible says, they "crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Corinthians 2:9). God's "one and only Son" (John 3:16). The "King of kings" (Revelation 19:16).
No cheering crowds, just His jeering crucifiers. No lines of weeping mourners - just mockers who came to watch Him die. No royal finery, just a linen robe torn to pieces as soldiers made a game of it. No jeweled crown. His was made of thorns.
The Queen was buried in an ornate chapel. My Savior was hastily sealed in a borrowed tomb.
But this battered man on a criminal's cross was, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury at her service, "Who she followed." "Her service," he said, "had its foundation in following Christ." And he cited the words of the Christmas carol that says, "Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in."
I was moved as he quoted her concluding words in a national speech during Covid lockdown: "We will meet again." "We can all share the Queen's hope - which inspired her servant leadership. Serving in life, hope in death. All who follow the Queen's example of trust and faith in God can say with her - 'We will meet again.'"
Because "Christ arose from the dead and offered life to all - abundant life now. Life with God in eternity."
The Queen had bowed to the King. And after all the adulation and celebration of her life, that is all that matters now. When it is our eulogy being read, that is all that will matter for you and me. Did we pin our hopes on the One who died for our sins, not by the cruelty of men, but by His loving choice?
In her "final journey," the Queen was surrounded by military escort. And hailed by loyal subjects. Her funeral may have been one of the most-watched events in human history.
But the event that everyone will see is yet to come. When the crucified - and - resurrected - King returns, "every eye will see Him!" (Revelation 1:7). And He will come "with the armies of heaven, riding on white horses." And on His robe, He will "have this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!" (Revelation 19:14, 16).
And "at the name of Jesus every knee will bow...and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:10-11).
There will be no need to shout, "God save the King."
The King came to save us.