In an article posted earlier today, I wrote about King Edward VIII’s decision to abdicate his throne in order to marry an American divorcee named Wallis Simpson. Simpson was buried on this day in 1986 next to her husband, who had died fourteen years earlier.
In a twist of historical irony, on this same day in 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton were married at Westminster Abbey. Nearly two thousand guests were in attendance. A half million supporters greeted the newly appointed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they shared a kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The couple released a photo of their wedding today to mark their ninth wedding anniversary. The official Kensington Palace Twitter account wrote: “Nine years ago today—thank you for all your lovely messages on The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding anniversary!” The couple are celebrating the day “privately” due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The promise of eternal life and hope in Christ
Paul described marriage as “an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one” (Ephesians 5:32 NLT). As he noted, “a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (v. 31 ESV).
When a man and a woman marry, they commit themselves to each other in a permanent covenant. They pledge mutual faithfulness that excludes all others.
If you have trusted in Christ as your Savior and Lord, this is the commitment he has made to you. He said of his followers, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish and no one will be able to snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28). God’s word is clear: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
When you were “born again” as the child of God (John 3:3), in that moment you received eternal life. This is not a gift awaiting your death as many people wrongly assume; it is yours now. This is why Jesus assured us, “Everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:26).
One of the most frightening aspects of the coronavirus pandemic is the fact that people can be infected and not know it. I could be infected as I write these words; I could be asymptomatic today but develop symptoms tomorrow. In fact, I could die of the virus.
But the amazing fact is: Christians who die, don’t. When we close our eyes here, we open them there. When we take our last breath here, we take our first breath there. We step from this dying world into God’s perfect paradise. And we are home.
If you are a Christian, know that Christ your “groom” is “with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). You will go through nothing that he does not go through with you. He is preparing your place in heaven now. And when your earthly life ends (unless he returns first), he promises: “I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3).
On that day, we will understand what we cannot understand today. Mysteries such as why God allows the pandemic and your personal suffering will no longer be mysteries. Paul spoke for us all: “Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Helen Keller: “Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference to me, you know. Because in that room I shall be able to see.”
So will you.