Was it better to have been born after Christ? Perhaps a good starting point would be to determine what was different after Christ’s incarnating. Jesus confirms that the Holy Spirits relationship with man would change after He was established at the right-hand of God the Father:
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
The Spirit of the Father that raised Jesus from the dead now dwells in us:
Romans 8:1-11 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death…But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Salvation of one’s soul was available before the cross; however the salvation of one’s life was not. This may seem contradictory but let me explain. Consider Jesus and Nicodemus:
John 3:5-10 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit…Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
Notice that this conversation takes place prior to the finished work on the cross and notice that Jesus is chastising Nicodemus for not knowing that one must be born of the Spirit. Man's soul has always been saved by the grace of God through the window of faith. However, after the cross the Holy Spirit gives birth to the presence of Christ in our heart. In that we may serve Jesus as Lord. Before the fulfillment of the gospel man was not able to serve Jesus as Lord because man was not aware of whom the Lord was. We have the benefit of serving Jesus as Lord not just by the knowledge of the Gospel, but by the presence of the Holy Spirit that testifies of Christ.
Here is a verse that depicts our current condition:
Colossians 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
We Christians are uniquely equipped with the Holy Spirit whom bears out the will of God the Father, which is Jesus Christ. We are those that are truly related to the Son of God. Jesus made this statement about those that are His relatives:
Matthew 12:50 …whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
The doing of the will of the Father requires the presence of the Holy Spirit and only that life made manifest by the Holy Spirit will stand the test of fire.