Nathan Pitchford of Reformation Theology has written an excellent piece on the essential centrality of Christ. He states:
“Christ is not only the hero and central figure of the sacred scriptures, both Old and New Testaments: he is also the very sum and substance of all history and reality.”
You can read the rest here: A Brief Meditation on the Christ-Centeredness of Everything
The piece really hits home when one considers the alternatives. If Christ is not the center of everything, then what can possibly be? How does one explain the the past and future, within the context of a personal hope?
You can rely on your own ability, while also understanding that you have failed yourself and others in the past, and will again do so in future. If your future hope rests on your own ability, also consider how much that future is currently determined by others. Your government, your family, your boss, all are part of your future. Any one of them can easily take away the hope that is in you, if you rely on yourself.
You can also, as atheists do, assert that you do not need hope. This physical life is all there is, so just “make the best of it”. No need for a blessed hope. No need to consider anything beyond this life, except for the propagation of the species.
You can also put your hope in one of the other “gods”, but that takes you back to the first point, all of them require that your hope is somehow dependent on something in yourself, not in Christ alone. Your hope is in some impersonal, distant, pedantic, disdainful, scornful, judgmental and unfair dictator, whom you can never satisfy.
The transformation brought about by Jesus when He chooses us is tremendous. Our blessed hope is in Him alone, He gives us peace, love, acceptance, assurance and perseverance. He creates us anew, moulding and shaping us according to His will. The previous hope, the previous self tries to resist, but it is futile. He has determined our future, and the future is burning bright with His hope. He accomplishes what He planned from before the beginning of time.
Christ is preparing us for His new kingdom. We can only bow down in awesome wonder and gratefulness for His mercy, and every moment of every day rejoice in His blessed hope.
Psa 146:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!
Psa 146:2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Psa 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
Psa 146:4 When his breath departs he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.
Psa 146:5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God,
Psa 146:6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;
Psa 146:7 who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free;
Psa 146:8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.
Psa 146:9 The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
Psa 146:10 The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD! (ESV)