Christ Church Magazine, June 2011

Record Royal Reign

The Queen has just become the second-longest reigning monarch in 1,000 years of British history. On 12th May Queen Elizabeth II overtook George III’s reign of 59 years (21,644 days when you account for the leap years). The record holder is Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years! So, February 2012 will mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

The Queen’s popularity stems from the respect she has earnt, quite apart from the honour she has by virtue of her royal status. It is a great blessing to have a good monarch using their powers and responsiblities to further the wellbeing of others. This is to be acknowledged with gratitude, but it is not to be taken for granted.

A monarch is one description given from the Bible for the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. But there is a significant difference from monarchs in our own experience. Whereas all human monarchs are mortal and can’t reign forever, the Messiah king would be immortal and so reign forever.

That means his ministry of reconciliation and comfort will never end.

The New Testament draws a parallel with Melchizedek the priest-king from Jersalem who came and met Abraham and received gifts from him.

He had neither beginning nor end of days that anyone knew of and disappeared into a mysterious fog of history. But he helps us to understand Jesus’ role as priest and king. The writer to the Hebrews states that Jesus Christ was the one who acts as the divine go-between: ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek’ (Heb 5v6 = Psalm 110v4).

Later we discover the significance of his name: ‘First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace”’ (Heb 7v2). Here is a High Priest that is of a different order altogether, because it is an office based on ‘the power of an indestructible life’. Here we have a better hope by which we draw near to God.

At the start of June we remember that the risen Jesus ascended to heaven and so returned home to be with the Father. After this the Holy Spirit was sent to be his presence with us now. Jesus is in heaven and acts as our High Priest (there are no other priests for us) . He can and will continue to fulfil his ministry to us forever. His is a record royal reign! Yours in Christ,

Paul Kingman

Christ Church Magazine – June 2011