© May 19, 2018 | Schulter Etyang
The world waits with bated breath for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry, a member of the British royal family and Meghan Markle, an American actress and humanitarian. The wedding ceremony is taking place this Saturday 19 May.
Prince Harry is the youngest son of Charles, Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana, his late mother was a global icon who tragically died 21 years ago in a road accident. The British royal family is the longest reigning monarchy in the world. The widely beloved Queen Elizabeth II has been Queen of the United Kingdom since February 1952.
Prince Harry is royal blood. He is sixth in line to be king of the United Kingdom. His upcoming nuptials will be to a Commoner. Meghan Markle is a Commoner. A Commoner is an ordinary person who does not belong to the aristocracy or to royalty. Meghan is a mixed-race woman – half black and half white because her father is Caucasian and her mother is African-American. Her parents are divorced. Meghan has a stepbrother and sister. Meghan herself is a divorcee. She and her ex-husband married in 2011 and divorced two years later in 2013.
Grace is everywhere, Eugene Peterson says. The gospel is everywhere – hiding in plain sight. Prince Harry’s wedding ceremony is the gospel – hiding in plain sight. His wedding points us to a much higher reality. The higher reality is this – a much better and greater Prince left his heavenly home and came in search of a bride. Jesus, the better and greater Prince, left his heavenly home and came in search of a bride.
And just like Harry, Jesus’ bride was also a Commoner. His bride was you and I. Let me show you how common you and I were? We were sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunks, slanderers, and robbers (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ISV), dead in trespasses and sins, disobedient, children of wrath, strangers and foreigners (Ephesians 2:1-3,19 NKJV), we had a darkened understanding, and alienated from the life of God (Ephesians 4:18 NKJV)
This is who we were when Jesus started dating and wooing us. Yet, Jesus was not perturbed at all. He went all in. Prince Harry could have chosen from the crème de la crème of females. Instead, he chooses a woman who is of mixed race and is a divorcee. This is what grace looks like. Jesus did not choose us because we were crème de la crème. Jesus chooses sinners – all the time.
Jesus chooses sinners – all the time
Now, two things will happen to Meghan when Prince Harry marries her. These same things happen to us on a more cosmic level.
Meghan will receive a new title. Media reports tell us that her title could be the first Duchess of Sussex or Princess Meghan. This title will be bequeathed to her because of her marriage to Prince Harry.
The gospel is such that – when we accept the marriage proposal of the heavenly Prince, he bequeaths to us new titles. We are called saints.
Romans 1:7 (NKJV)
To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Both the Hebrew and Greek words for saint – qadosh and hagios respectively mean holy, sacred, pure, and blameless. We become holy, sacred, pure, and blameless because Jesus our heavenly Prince is such. We become as he is. Our new title then gives us new identity, purpose and destiny.
Meghan Markle will receive an inheritance. An inheritance she didn’t work for because Prince Harry was born into it. Our marriage to Jesus bequeaths to us a priceless inheritance.
1 Peter 1:4 (NLT)
And we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
Such is our inheritance that Paul prayed that we get to know how glorious our inheritance is (Ephesians 1:18 NLT) This is so true especially for many of us whose parents did not have the ability or opportunity to pass on an inheritance to us. Or, for those of us who are/were married to earthly spouses who are/were incapable of leaving us with an inheritance.
Gospel Christians have a glorious and priceless inheritance. We receive this inheritance because Jesus was born into it. Thus, we become co-heirs with the heavenly Prince (Romans 8:17 NKJV)
Jesus gave up everything for nothing so that we who had nothing could have everything
There are rumours that Prince Harry refused to sign a prenup that would safeguard his £30 million fortune. What is a rumour with Prince Harry is true for Jesus and his bride. Jesus did not sign a prenup to protect his wealth. He went all in. It was pure love for his bride. To his bride he said this, “all that is mine is yours and all that is yours is mine.” What did you and I have? Nothing. What did Jesus have? Everything. Yet, Jesus gave up everything for nothing so that we who had nothing could have everything.
However, there’s one noteworthy thing that Prince Harry will never at any point do for Meghan. He might have written Meghan poems indicating he would do this noteworthy thing but he won’t. Prince Harry will never die for Meghan in the same way Jesus died for us. He will never suffer atrocities that Jesus suffered in order to marry his bride. Jesus suffered persecution and betrayal unlike has ever been seen before just so that he could marry us. Jesus’ marriage to us came at an incredible cost. He lost everything to marry us. Prince Harry will not lose anything because of his marriage to Meghan. There is no “cost” to be paid.
Jesus’ marriage to us came at an incredible cost. He lost everything to marry us. The cost? His own life
Our deepest longing
Why has Prince Harry’s nuptial created such euphoria? Here’s why. His upcoming wedding ceremony tags at the deep longing inside of us. We have a God-shaped hole in our hearts. Deep inside us, we know it to be true that we were once married to a Prince – and we lost it. Ever since we have tried to recreate that memory. Deep inside our psyche, we know we have someone who satisfies that deep desire.
The gospel points us to that person. Jesus really is the true Prince Harry. He does so much more than what Prince Harry will do for Megan Markle. He satisfies that deep desire that we have with unconditional love and acceptance. He will never bolt out when things go awry. He stays. He keeps his promise to us that he will never leave us or abandon us. He is with us till the end.
Hey, if you are a Gospel Christian, delight yourself in your heavenly Prince, your new title and your priceless inheritance. Enjoy all that you have become and inherited. If you are non-Christian, you could be married to a heavenly Prince. Consider it.
That’s what grace looks like