We all know that the world is broken; that everyone around us, and we ourselves are broken. This accurate diagnosis is frightening and depressing, for “the wages of sin is death.” Nevertheless, the diagnosis of the problem―of our problem―is the beginning of our hope. It’s hard to get worse than dead. After the Apostle Paul describes our condition as “dead in trespasses and sins,” and that we were “by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Eph. 2:1-3), we find an important word―a critical word: BUT….
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ―Ephesians 2:4-10
The Apostle Peter expressed the same idea this way:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. ―1 Peter 1:3
It is never too late to turn to the remedy; to receive new life in Christ. This is not some far-off hope for after the grave only. It’s about a new beginning today. The resurrecting work of Christ is real and it’s powerful and it’s immediate. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). The Apostle Paul also observed that with respect to the resurrection of Christ, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Cor. 15:19). The flip side of this observation is that if Christ did rise from the dead the implications for us all are profound and it turns out that it is those who have no hope in Christ are the ones who are the most pitiable. It’s an all-or-nothing proposition. If Jesus rose from the dead, then nothing else matters. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then nothing else matters. St. Hippolytus said it well:
When [Christ's] cosmic battle came to an end, the heavens shook . . . stones were split open, and the world might well have perished. . . . And then, when He ascended, His divine spirit gave life and strength to the tottering world, and the whole universe became stable once more, as if the stretching out, the agony of the Cross, had in some way gotten into everything.