By Bob Bunn
Pablo Picasso earned a reputation as one of the greatest artists in history. Howard Hughes became one of the wealthiest men of his time, despite living in self-imposed isolation for many years due to his fear of germs. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a Nobel Prize laureate whose courage resonates to this day. The singer-songwriter Prince rose to musical heights that few of his contemporaries could match. These men took advantage of their unique skills and talents and found a way to secure a spot in history. In their own way, they built legacies that continue to outlive them. Aside from their fame, though, they also had at least one other thing in common: all of them died without a will.
The technical term is intestate, and it’s not all that uncommon. One recent survey found that less than half of Americans (46%) have a will that defines how their estates will be distributed after they die. Dying without a will can make a difficult time even worse for those left behind. For example, after Picasso died in 1973, it took six years and $30 million to resolve all the legal challenges. In contrast, the security of a will provides a sense of peace and assurance for survivors.
It makes sense that the writer of Hebrews used a similar illustration to describe the inheritance we claim as children of God through Jesus Christ. After all, if a will written on paper can provide a sense of peace about the material property, it’s no stretch to imagine God’s supernatural peace through His Word and His unchanging character (Hebrews 6:17–18).
When we embrace Jesus’s offer of salvation, we become heirs to an eternal promise, a hope that serves as “an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (v.19). Abraham was the first one to receive the assurance of this inheritance (Genesis 22:15–18), but God confirmed it across centuries until the promise was fulfilled in Christ.
Today, even though Jesus has come and finished His work of salvation, we still wait for the ultimate fulfillment of the promise. When He returns, our inheritance will be fully realized. Until then, we live in His hope. We have the knowledge and the confidence that He never lies and has never failed to keep a promise, and He never will.
In the middle of any storm, we have confidence that God will come through.