When I was a little boy, I had dreams of becoming an archeologist. I wanted to go on a dig and discover a lost breed of dinosaur, spend weeks at a time diving the depths of the ocean exploring shipwrecks, or even dig up a treasure chest left from a long-lost pirate. I guess it is this fascination with lost treasure that caught my attention a few weeks ago when a Revolutionary War time capsule was unearthed from its resting place in the Massachusetts State House.
Contained in this time capsule were several newspapers of the era, coins from the 13 colonies, and an engraving plate thought to be made by Paul Revere himself. The treasures in this time capsule give us a glimpse into the lives of men like Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, and several other patriots that helped to shape our country.
Reading this story reminds me of the days when I wanted to be an archeologist searching for buried treasure, but then I remember that I have already found the most valuable treasure that anyone has ever found.
2 Corinthians 4:7-12
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.
The treasure Paul is speaking of here is the Gospel and the gift of salvation given freely by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. As Christians, this treasure is ours to possess and to share with those around us who have not yet become Christians. Like an archeologist, you must search for this treasure, but not with a shovel and pickaxe. Rather, you must search the word of God with the same diligence as those who unearthed and studied the treasures found in the time capsule in Boston.
I wish I could tell you that the story of the time capsule ends with treasures found inside being preserved in a museum or placed in a traveling exhibit where you might be able to see them for yourself, but that would be a lie. The contents of the time capsule will be on display for a time but will eventually be placed back into another time capsule and put back in the cornerstone of the State House for another generation to unearth. As someone who loves history and used to want to be an archeologist, this frustrates me to no end. As a Christian and a minister, I see a dangerous parallel in our fellowship.
As previously mentioned, the Gospel and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ are treasures that we are blessed to possess. When we first find this treasure, we are excited; and we tell those that we know about our new-found discovery. But as the years go on, we tend to put this treasure back into the box we found it in and hope that another generation will discover it. Jesus knew that this was a possibility and, knowing that, said the following words.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
If you’re a Christian reading this article, understand that you have discovered the greatest treasure ever and don’t put it back in the box. If you are not yet a Christian, I invite you to go on a treasure hunt and discover what God has in store for you. Let’s keep digging into God’s word to find the treasures therein!
Be Strong and Courageous,