(Based on the message given by David Hathaway on Good Friday Morning 2012)
“17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept” (1 Cor 19:17 – 20 KJV)
During the ‘Easter Season’ we remember the death of Christ, and have the added joy of celebrating His resurrection. We also celebrate the fact that Jesus’ death broke the power of sin and enables those who accept Him as Lord and Saviour to overcome sin and have a new life. However there is another reason why we should celebrate Jesus’ death.
The death of a loved one is often followed by the reading of a Will and the bequeathing of an inheritance (whether good or bad). No one has their Will released until after their death. Likewise Jesus could not bequeath anything to us until He died. Therefore we celebrate the death of Christ because it means an inheritance for us!
What is the Inheritance?
“3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ”…“11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph 1:3 and 11)
We inherited our spiritual life when we were born into the Kingdom of God but because Jesus died we also inherited a new Testament (Covenant or Will). In fact the New Testament is a Will detailing the promises of God and conditions by which the inheritance is inherited. This inheritance includes spiritual blessings that manifest the glory or goodness of God in our lives.
Who are the Heirs?
It is not uncommon for people who are in need to wish they had a rich uncle somewhere in the world who had left them an inheritance. Many family rifts occur because relatives are unhappy with the share of the inheritance they have obtained. Legal fees can eat up inheritances and a greedy solicitor may falsify the true financial situation of a deceased relative in order to steal another’s inheritance.
In this earthly realm inheritances can be more trouble than they are worth. This is not so with the inheritance left to us by Jesus. There is more than enough to be shared. We have it through salvation from God through Christ to us! Therefore anyone who has accepted Christ as their Lord and saviour has this inheritance.
What do we do with it?
We should spend our inheritance by living a life that glorifies God. We glorify God by being obedient to Him and His Word and living a life that gives the Glory back to God whether it be in business, at work, in the home or in church ministry. In this way the inheritance flows from God to us back to God.
What Guarantee is there that I have an Inheritance?
A Will is a type of contract or promise. Jesus sealed us with the Holy Spirit of promise, however had Jesus not died then the Holy Spirit could not have come to live in us and the promise would not be ours.
“13in whom also you, hearing the Word of Truth, the gospel of our salvation, in whom also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is the earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Eph 1:13 – 14 NKJV)
In verse 14 of Ephesians 1 the Holy Spirit is described as the “earnest” of our inheritance. In this verse the word earnest is used as a noun (a person, place or thing) and refers to a deposit, pledge or down payment. This indicates that although we are eligible for the inheritance we do not receive it in its entirety whilst earth bound.
“3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and unfading, reserved in Heaven for you 5by the power of God, having been kept through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time;” (1 Pet 1:3-5 NKJV)
The glory down here is just part of it but we receive the fullness of salvation only in Heaven. Thanks be to God that even in this earthly realm a down payment allows you access to the whole of what you placed the down payment on. If you pay a deposit on a house or car you get to use the whole car and live in the whole house. Likewise we have access to the entire inheritance obtained through Christ – Hallelujah!
How do I obtain it?
Let us not forget that everything Jesus earned was through obedience. Even in pain and suffering, he was obedient to the end. God has exalted Him and given Him a name above every other name. We also will be rewarded in Heaven by what we do down here. So now we can make our requests known to God and ask to receive in Jesus’ name and He will bequeath it.
Release of an inheritance is not always easy. There may be conditions or legal battles may ensue before the inheritance can be distributed. In the same way we must unlock the power of the inheritance by fighting and meeting conditions. This fight is a spiritual one against the flesh, the world and the devil in the power of Christ and upheld by the condition of obedience to Him in faith. All the instructions are in His Word.
If you are reading this and you do not have a relationship with Jesus. Please know that not only did Jesus die to free you from the sin that entangles your life and brings eternal death, but to give you a valuable inheritance. If you are already a follower of Jesus Christ, I encourage you as I encourage myself to thank Jesus for what He has done and fight for your inheritance, and when you receive it, give the Glory back to God. Amen