I’ve spent more time than I care to admit over the past week reading about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s great royal exit from Britain. There’s no doubt you’ve seen all the headlines about their essential “abdication” of royal duties and their position in the monarchy.
There’s just something about royalty that intrigues a commoner like me. I’m the person who got up in the middle of the night to watch both Prince William and Prince Harry marry their respective brides.
But as many commentators have noted, this whole bit with Harry and Meghan is just baffling—especially since they’ve not been married all that long. Here’s an American girl who got the promotion of a lifetime to princess. I mean, of all roles for an actress to land, she was chosen for the world’s stage. Many women would only dream of such a life.
Now, Harry and Meghan seem poised to leave it all for what they most likely believe will be a better and normal life for their young family.
They will still be known as Duke and Duchess but will no longer have HRH titles (His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness). They’ll lose the access and many privileges of a royal life, including money. No more jewels, crowns, or castles. Harry and Meghan are leaving it all behind with the apparent blessing of the Queen.
There was once another royal who left a kingdom. His name was Jesus. And His departure was also blessed by His Father. In fact, Jesus’ great royal exit was part of God’s plan for Him all along. More than that, it was God’s plan for all of humanity.
Here are a few observations from His great departure:
1. It was His destiny
It’s hard for simple people like us to understand how anyone would willingly leave a life of royalty they are born into. Yet that’s exactly what Jesus did. He knew His coming to earth was a fulfillment of prophecy and part of God’s grand plan.
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” (John 4:34)
Only His exit would not come with entertainment deals, Canadian mansions, and private security detail. No, His would come at a much greater cost.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)
2. He came to save
When Jesus entered our world, He was the fulfillment of the prophecy for a Savior. You’d think He would have been welcomed with open arms. Instead, He was rejected.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)
The one and only true King was despised by those He came to save. And yet because of His great sacrifice, we can take comfort in His ability to identify with our own trials and temptations.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
3. He held the ultimate title
In royal circles, much is made of titles. I’ve read a lot about that recently, too. They are handed out by a monarch at poignant times in a royal’s life (birth, marriage, coming of age). But here are a few titles not just anyone can claim:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
No, those are reserved for the One who also holds the ultimate title.
God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name. (Philippians 2:9).
Harry and Meghan’s choice to leave their titles and royal trappings behind was to achieve some sense of normalcy, away from the prying eyes of the British press. Jesus has been the Name Above All Names since the beginning of time. And it’s a title that no human, life choice, or circumstance could ever change.
Jesus left His kingdom to enter into our normal lives—mess and all. And it’s His example that beckons us to do the same. To enter into the mess of those around us to share with them the one and only true hope, Jesus.
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