In the beginning, God created the universe out of nothing. He spoke it into being, and then he filled it, using the creative power of his Word. Likewise, when his creation had fallen into disrepair, he restored it by the same creative power. Whereas he once said, “let there be light” and there was light, now he says “let these sinners be my children; let them be righteous.” We are now children of God, righteous in his sight.
The Word of God brings life out of death, good out of evil, righteousness out of unrighteousness, something from nothing. We know that God has this power, because he created the world, because he kept his promise to make of Abraham a great nation, because he delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and because he raised his Son Jesus Christ from the dead.
God’s craftsmanship does not depend on the raw material available to him. He needs no raw material at all. And indeed, we have no righteousness of our own. He creates all our righteousness for us ex nihilo and declares it to be ours. It is his gift.
A skilled doctor can sometimes help a sick person recover. But no one can make a dead person live again. Except God. Nature can only bring life out of life, but God can bring life out of death. He has done so by redeeming us from our wretched state of sin. We were wholly in the grasp of evil, inside and out, and God has freed us, inside and out.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The resurrection is the greatest thing that has ever happened. God came down from heaven to live life as a man. He died a death befitting a slave, bloodied and hanging from a cross, bearing all of our sins in his body. On the third day, he conquered the grave. Death fled from his body. He has made us heirs of the Kingdom of God alongside him. He has created righteousness for us to replace our many sins. He has defeated our enemies for good.
When Christ was crucified, it was our flesh that was crucified with him. But when he rose, it was not our flesh that rose. God has made us new.