Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II died on 8 September at the age of 96. She has been an outstanding monarch for more than 70 years and was still fulfilling her official responsibilities just 48 hours before she died. At the age of 21 she had committed herself to serving the people of Britain and the Commonwealth for as long as she lived. The key to understanding her faithfulness and integrity is that she knew Jesus Christ as her Saviour and Lord. Every day she lived in dependence on him and prayed for his wisdom and strength. On her first Christmas broadcast, Elizabeth asked people to pray “that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I might faithfully serve Him and you.”

When she died her soul passed immediately into the presence of her Lord. Her life’s work was complete, and she entered her rest. She no longer has the responsibilities she had in this life as the Queen but is in the presence of God himself and of her Saviour Jesus, who is the King of kings. She has heard the divine commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master.”

Elizabeth is not in heaven because she was born a royal person, nor because she was faithful in fulling her calling. She is in heaven because she put her trust in Jesus. It is not because of who she was, or what she did, but entirely because of what her Saviour did for her.

The Queen wholeheartedly agreed with the words of Horatius Bonar, a Scottish Presbyterian minister and great hymn writer, who wrote: “Upon a life I have not lived, upon a death I did not die, another’s life; another’s death, I stake my whole eternity. Not on the tears which I have shed, not on the sorrows I have known, another’s tears; another’s griefs, on these I rest, on these alone. O Jesus, Son of God, I build on what Thy cross has done for me; there both my life and death I read, my guilt, and pardon there I see. Lord, I believe; O deal with me, as one who has Thy Word believed! I take the gift, Lord, look on me, as one who has Thy gift received.”

After the funeral service Elizabeth’s earthly body will be buried “in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” When Jesus returns in glory her body will be raised and God will be all in all. Let us pray for King Charles and all the royal family that they will be comforted by the same hope in Jesus Christ the Queen had. She was sustained by this hope throughout her long life of dedicated service and as she walked through the valley of the shadow of death.

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