I inherited a chest of drawers and a vanity desk from my great grandmother (aka Grandma Great . . . because she was awesome). Actually, I think my mom inherited them and she gave them to me. I don’t really know. But when my great grandmother passed away, ownership of those items transferred to us.
The word inherit has actually been around since the 1300s, with the original root meaning to make or appoint someone an heir. I think it’s interesting because heirs have to be appointed. You don’t just receive someone’s earthly possessions because you’re related to them. That person has to designate that you are an heir if you want to inherit anything.
In the Bible, the first born son was always given the birthright, the majority share of the father’s wealth. Although, there was one specific circumstance when a younger brother deceived his father and stole the birthright for himself. But here in the Western world, we don’t do it that way. We have inheritances. Someone who is dying or is close to death or who is preparing for death, appoints people to be his or her heirs.
I got to thinking about all of this when I read today’s verse, Ephesians 1:18.
18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
This caught my eye today because even though I’ve always heard believers called Christ’s inheritance in Scripture, I never really thought about what that means. And honestly? I think Jesus is getting scammed.
Inheritances are supposed to be big and impressive. They’re supposed to be worth a lot of money. They’re supposed to make you wealthier. They’re supposed to add value to your way of life. They’re supposed to bring you joy and happiness.
What is Jesus getting as His inheritance?
Have you ever thought about that? We as Christians are Christ’s inheritance (or maybe it’s more accurate to say we’re His birthright because God the Father isn’t going to die).
How have we added to the value of Christ’s life? Shoot, He had to die for us. And not just die–suffer.
What is there about us that is impressive? We make grand assumptions about how things work and call ourselves brilliant, even though we’re totally wrong.
What joy and happiness have we brought Jesus? We push Him away and believe lies about Him.
Who would want an inheritance like that?
I guess He must because He’s always known it was coming, but still it baffles me that He would want us after all the times we’ve turned against Him. His love for us is beyond me. The fact that He would lay His life down for us is one thing. That is courageous and sacrificial. But there’s a difference between laying your life down for someone and volunteering to live with them for the rest of your life.
The sacrifice Christ made for us was incredible. Yes. And it was an act of great love. Yes. But I think beyond making a way for us to have a relationship with God, the bigger demonstration of His love for us is how He puts up with us every day — and not just puts up with us but loves us intensely as though we’ve never done anything wrong.
Often times we think that love only shows itself in the big moments of life. That’s not true. The strongest love shows up in the little everyday moments, love that endures through annoying habits and careless words. Christ loved us enough to die for us, yes. But He also loves us enough to live with us. And He’ll live with us for the rest of eternity.
I know myself. And I know my flaws and my weaknesses, and I don’t understand how anyone could love me that much. And I don’t understand why He would accept me as His inheritance. But He does.
And what’s more — He’s excited about it.