As the final preparations are made for the funeral of Prince Philip tomorrow, tributes have been pouring in from all over the world. Typical of these were the words of the BBC’s Royal Correspondent, Jonny Diamond, who wrote that he was “an extraordinary man who led an extraordinary life”.
Earlier this week I was intrigued to read of some people who thought even more highly of the Prince. A tribe living on the remote island of Tanna in the South Pacific have for decades worshipped the Duke of Edinburgh as the son of their ancestral mountain god. He fulfilled prophecy by travelling to a far-away land to carry out a mission, but his recent death has plunged the island into mourning and dashed hopes that he would one day return to initiate paradise for all Yaohnanens.
If the story rings a bell, it is because it bears some resemblance to the Christian account of their son of God, Jesus, whose sudden death also dashed the hopes of his disciples. However, three days later their despair was turned to joy when he came back to life, promising to return at a future time to usher in the kingdom of heaven for all peoples.
Prince Philip may have been remarkable but he was not Jesus. Yet thanks to Jesus, he will one day return to life, along with all of us.
All the very best,
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