There was once a man who set off on a journey to find a million-dollar bill. He sailed the seven seas and traveled through distant lands. He rode camels, trains, planes, and Harley Davidsons—anything that would take him somewhere he suspected he might find the million-dollar bill. After many years of frantic but fruitless efforts, he was ready to give up. One day, he was reaching into the many pockets of his many-pocketed cargo pants looking for some change, when he discovered, to his surprise, a pocket on the inside lining he’d not noticed before. He reached in, and to his amazement, he found a note from his father, wishing him well on his journey, and saying he hoped he’d appreciate the gift he left him. Puzzled, the man reached deeper into the new pocket and pulled out a million-dollar bill.
In that modern parable, we may be able to see the gospel afresh—that something remarkable was given to us long ago.
We rightly look forward to “that day” when we will experience the new heaven and the new earth and God’s blessings will overflow. But the good news we relish is not merely about the future. This good news was already accomplished for us in the past, and it pours over into the present. This “past tense” gospel tells us what is already done, which in turn tells us what we already enjoy. While we look forward to that day when “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD” (Hab. 2:14), this good news is also part of the story: “The whole earth is full of his glory” (Isa. 6:3).
Let’s note just a couple of examples of the million-dollar bill that’s already in our pockets. For one, the grace we enjoy today ...
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