If your Georgia family history goes back to pre-1776, you might want to ransack the attic of grandma’s house next time you’re visiting. What are you looking for? Any piece of paper that has the autograph of Button Gwinnett on it. Who was Gwinnett? He was a Georgia founding father and one of three Georgians to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Gwinnett was one of the more obscure signers who died from a gunshot wound in a duel only 10 months after affixing his signature. Today, his John Hancock is worth far more than . . . John Hancock, or any one of the other 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence. In fact, it’s worth more than an autograph of President’s Washington, Jefferson, or Lincoln.
The high price is because of the signature’s scarcity. Only 51 examples of his signature are known to exist. The last time one sold at auction a few years ago it went for over $700,000. Anyone looking to assemble a complete set of the autographs on the Declaration of Independence must have Gwinnett’s. Its rarity makes it the ultimate prize.
What is more valuable than Button Gwinnett’s name written in his own hand? Infinitely more valuable is your name written in the Savior’s hand in the Lamb’s Book of Life. “Rejoice not that the demons are subject to you, but that your name is written in heaven,” said Jesus. Revelation 13:8 speaks of “. . . everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.” Revelation 21:27 states the only people who will enter heaven are “those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
The remarkable thing about it all is that it won’t cost you a penny to have your John Hancock affixed in the Lamb’s Book of Life. No amount of money in the universe can purchase the inscription. It did, however, cost Jesus everything. He died for your sins.
God’s grace is marvelous, infinite, matchless, amazing grace. That the God-man Jesus should stoop to a death by crucifixion, dying for my sins on the cross so that my name could be written in his heavenly book, is, well, nothing short of amazing. All who belong to Christ will find that their name has been written in the Lamb’s book of life “before the foundation of the world.”
What grace. What love. What peace. What security.