– Easter is not just Another Day –
Almost two years ago the whole world took notice as a Royal was born to the throne of Great Britain: An heir born to the House of Windsor in an age of Parliamentary Monarchs. With the amount of media coverage and popularity it would have seemed that we were back in the days of Henry VIII or Queen Victoria! And now the whole media machine is just starting to crank up as William and Kate have less than a month for the next Royal(s) to be born!
The birth of a “Royal” is different from almost any other birth. Most babies we look at we look with a smile as we think of how cute and innocent they are. We wonder what their future holds. We dream dreams on their behalf hoping that some of those dreams will come to be! What Role will they fill? What role will they take in our family history? What role will they fill in our Community? What role will they fill in History? The word that best captures this moment is Potential.
Not so the Royal—they are born into a predetermined Role. The weight or shine of a crown can already be seen on their head. The hopes of the father have been confirmed and he now has an heir! Ask Henry VIII about how crucial this concern was to a monarch. A nation can collectively breathe a sigh of relief as now there would be a smooth continuity of reign from father to heir instead of the political upheaval that has often accompanied the death of a ruler who has had no direct heir. The eyes of wondering and hopes for the future will not be looking at Royal; this baby has been born with official titles and documents. The word that best captures their moment is Responsibility.
Jesus was born a “Royal”- in fact He is The Royal! He was born with titles: Son of the Most High, Savior, Son of David, Messiah (Christ) the Lord. He was born with responsibilities: saving His people from their sins, sitting on the throne of His father David, ruling a kingdom which would have no end, fulfilling the hopes of Israel. He was the child whose destiny had been set not only before His birth, but even before the creation of the world!
It is revealing to look at Jesus The Royal through the eyes of two people in Luke 2, Simeon and Anna. Jesus was brought to the Temple just like any other 8-day old Jewish boy. It was the day of Presentation and Circumcision. Jesus was just one among many to have been born eight days earlier. But these two servants of God picked Him out from the rest by the prompting of God’s Holy Spirit. Simeon had been told his life would not end without this meeting taking place. For Anna it was her devotion to God which brought her now face-to-face with “God Among Us”, Emmanuel. Their deaths were postponed until they would witness His birth: the birth of The Royal. But even in their declarations of the glory of His birth, they gave testimony to the ultimate destiny of this One: His death. These who could now “die in peace” gave testimony to the turmoil that would follow Jesus throughout His life and strike a sword through the heart of His mother one day in his death. A destiny set for Him by God the Father. A Royal birth that would one day make me an heir as well. The Royal who was born to die so He could give me a birth into the Family of God as an heir of righteousness and salvation!
Pastor Stephen Willoughby
Pastor Steve grew up in Columbia,South America, where his parents served as missionaries for 25 years. After graduating from Capital Bible Seminary, he was invited to serve as Assistant Pastor at FBCP. He has served in that capacity for twenty years before taking on the position of Senior Pastor.