My favorite Easter passage is 1 Peter 1:3-5. It reads, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” The next phrase is what I’d like to focus on this morning. It goes on to say, “…to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” An inheritance is something we get for being connected to a family. By virtue of our being adopted into God’s family by being born again our names are written into His will. There are three great words that describe what this inheritance is like. First, it is incorruptible. This means it’s not subject to decay and growing old. It’s undefiled. That means it’s perfect, without blemish in every way. It won’t fade away, that means it’s permanent. The next part of the verse goes on to say that it is “reserved” for you. You can depend on it being there waiting for you when you get there. You have a place. Jesus once said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” He promised to take us to be with him in that place.

A man named Joe McUtchen preaches the gospel each Wednesday night at a homeless shelter in Atlanta. A drug addict named Willy began attending and responding to the message. Seeing his progress, the Shelter had Willy placed in a Christian rehab program in Tampa. Willie opened his heart to God’s Love expressed on the cross of Calvary and he was born again through new found faith in Jesus Christ and began to recover. Some months later, Willy called Joe. “Joe, when I got here they asked me about my addictions, and they helped me through withdrawals. They talked to me about God. When they found out I used to be a master chef, they called around and got me a job at the Ritz-Carlton. In my rehab program I learned that I should do everything with all my heart, like I was doing it for God. Now I’m head chef at the Ritz-Carlton. I’d like to come back to homeless shelter some Wednesday and give my testimony.” “That’d be great, Willy,” said Joe. “And while you’re here, Judy and I would like for you to stay with us. No need to pay for a room.” There was a pause on the line, then Willy said, “That’s not necessary, Joe. When I come to Atlanta, there’s already a room waiting for me. I’ll be staying at the Ritz.”

You and I have a place reserved for us. It’s far grander, far glorious and far greater than the Ritz! I love the way the King James translators handled John 14:1-3. It reads, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” The Ritz might be the slums in comparison to what awaits us.

“In Him we have obtained an inheritance…so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-12