No Cross without a Crown
For reading & meditation: Ephesians 4:1-16
"He ... ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe." (v. 10)
In his autobiography, A King's Story, the Duke of Windsor told of a strange thing that happened at the funeral of his father, King George V. He described how, as his father's body was being conveyed on a draped gun carriage through the crowded streets of London, a mishap occurred which only those closest to the scene witnessed. The imperial crown, removed from the Tower of London, had been placed over the Royal Standard and secured to the lid of the coffin. However, the jolting of the vehicle caused the Maltese Cross, which surmounts the crown, to fall. "Suddenly," said the Duke, "out of the corner of my eye, I caught a flash of light dancing along the pavement. One of the sailors, marching behind the gun carriage, picked it up, took it to his commanding officer, and said, 'This cross fell off, Sir. It must be replaced.' The officer was a little bewildered by the untoward happening and said: 'Must it be replaced now?' 'Yes Sir,' replied the sailor, 'The crown is never complete without the cross.' " In Christian terms the converse is also true - the cross is not complete without the crown. The ascension inevitably followed the atonement; the coronation the crucifixion. One writer says: "One senses a certain embarrassment in some ministers where the subject of the ascension is concerned. They tend to shy clear of the topic or dismiss it lightly as no more than a graphic myth or triumphalist parable." But if there had been no ascension there would be no gospel. The cross would not be complete without the crown.
O Father, how can I ever sufficiently thank You that the work of salvation is complete. Nothing more needs to be done than has been done. Your Coronation spells it out in the clearest of terms. I am so deeply, deeply grateful. Amen.
For further study:
1. What did God the Father say about the Son?
2. What did God the Father say to the Son?