Truth really is often stranger than fiction. In 2009 it was reported that two brothers were homeless and living in a cave outside Budapest, Hungary, when they received news that changed their lives unimaginably. The penniless brothers, who were surviving by scavenging junk, couldn’t believe their ears as charity workers connected them with attorneys who had been seeking them. It turned out that their maternal grandmother in Baden-Württemberg had died and left them her estate valued at more than 4 billion pounds, equal to about $5 billion US Dollars.
Odd inheritance stories are universally beloved. We like to think that maybe the same could happen to us – receiving a fortune dropped on us from the sky by a rich relative we never knew.
This life can surely be hard at times. After the past two years, some of us may even be feeling like we’ve been living in a cave ourselves. It’s good to remember that our own reality is much more astonishing than the brothers' story above.
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance.” Ephesians 1:11
Who can weigh the riches of our eternal inheritance in a scale? What balances could measure its treasure? What creature could swim to the bottom of its sea of joy or understand the heights of what God has prepared for those who love him? Consider the boundaries of Christ’s possessions, and then abandon any thought that their limits can be found! In describing our inheritance, he has said “All things are yours, for you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.”
The awesome truth is that Jesus, himself, is our inheritance. It is Jesus “in whom” we have obtained all things.
Charles Spurgeon put it powerfully:
“Consider this, believer. You have no right to heaven in yourself: your right lies in Christ. If you are pardoned, it is through his blood; if you are justified, it is through his righteousness; if you are sanctified, it is because God made him your sanctification; if you are kept from falling, it will be because you are preserved in Christ Jesus; and if you are perfected at last, it will be because you are complete in him.”
This inheritance may seem far away to us now but is closer than we think.
When Noah first released the dove to seek land it was with a weary wing that she returned to the ark. The dove found no rest outside of it. We've also learned that no satisfaction can be found in earthly things -- God alone gives rest to our spirit. My job, my possessions, my family, my attainments, are all blessings and good in their way, but they cannot fulfill the desires of my immortal nature.
The weary dove could not endure spending a night hovering over the restless waves – there was no safety there. She came back to the master. Upon her return she didn’t merely alight upon the roof of the ark, she “came in.”
We come back in the same way, day after day, finding rest from the restless waves, being received by the Master’s hand and brought once again inside the ark of safety. But a day will come – it won’t be long -- when the new has replaced the old. When the heights and depths of Christ’s possessions are revealed and His treasury is freely opened to us. When we enter into an inheritance not made with hands, eternal in the heavens!
4 You have a pure and enduring inheritance that cannot perish—an inheritance that is presently kept safe in heaven for you. 5 Through his faithfulness, you are guarded by God’s power so that you can receive the salvation he is ready to reveal in the last time.
6 You now rejoice in this hope, even if it’s necessary for you to be distressed for a short time by various trials. 7 This is necessary so that your faith may be found genuine. (Your faith is more valuable than gold, which will be destroyed even though it is itself tested by fire.) Your genuine faith will result in praise, glory, and honor for you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Although you’ve never seen him, you love him. Even though you don’t see him now, you trust him and so rejoice with a glorious joy that is too much for words. 9 You are receiving the goal of your faith: your salvation.