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The Throne Room

An allegory by Walter O. Edwards

A lonely pilgrim with wounded hands and feet and a bleeding side stood before a bolted door. The stranger had come a long way, from the distant court of his father, who was a great king.

The prince knew that behind the door was a throne room which his father had prepared for him. However, the keeper of the throne room had foolishly opened the door to the prince’s deadly enemy. This brute had pushed aside the keeper, cast down and destroyed all the beautiful furnishings, and seated himself on the throne. Meanwhile, the poor keeper hardly even resisted. Instead, he seemed amazed by the brilliance and power of his new master.

Now the prince stood at the door to claim his rightful throne. He had no army to back him, although he could have called for millions of soldiers. If the keeper of the throne room opened the door, it must be of his own free will. The prince would use no force but love.

With dignity, the noble prince quietly knocked on the barred door. Calling out softly, he promised that if the keeper would only open the door, he himself would cast out the usurper. Then the prince and the keeper could enjoy sweet fellowship together.

Without opening the door even a crack, the keeper replied from inside, telling the prince of the pleasures the usurper had promised him.

The prince reminded the keeper of the abundance of treasures in his father’s house.1 He told how even his father’s humblest servants were wealthier than the usurper himself.2 He said that each of his servants, after their loyalty had been tested, would receive a beautiful robe, a golden crown, and a palace.3

In response, the keeper complained of the rules he must follow if he served the prince. He said he couldn’t bear to live with so many restrictions.

The prince kindly explained that the rules were actually instructions the king had given in love for the well-being of his subjects. Every prohibition was really a warning notice to avoid a dangerous trap. Even more, the king offered shining promises for all who obeyed! In the king’s service, the keeper would have his fill of love and liberty, and his joys would only increase. In contrast, serving the usurper would be hard and sorrowful—and it would grow worse and worse.

The keeper listened, but he would not open the door. He said that perhaps he would later, if he should tire of serving the usurper.

The prince wept, because he loved the keeper and knew of the sorrow he would face if he did not open the door. “My dear friend,” he said in pleading tones, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.4 I set aside the glory that I had with my father just so I could be with you.5 I was gravely wounded in my efforts to reach you. I offer you rest and lasting joy.6 I am the prince of love, and I bring you peace; but he who holds you captive is the prince of darkness, and his domain is cruelty. Won’t you open the door?”

The hinges slowly began to creak. While the prince continued to speak, the usurper tried to convince the keeper not to open the door. Suddenly the keeper pulled the door open wide, and the prince stepped in. His one glance forced the usurper to leave.

The prince cleaned the throne room until it shone. The keeper watched in astonishment. He had not realized how dingy the room had become! The prince’s very presence radiated such light and joy that it even shone out the windows. The darkness had disappeared. As the prince settled Himself onto the throne, the keeper fell at His feet in praise and thanksgiving, for he had been delivered.

1. See John 14:2.
2. See Psalm 84:10.
3. See Revelation 7:9; James 1:12; John 14:2.
4. Jeremiah 31:3.
5. See John 17:5, 22; Philippians 2:6, 7.
6. See Matthew 11:28–30.

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