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God’s Mercy and Grace: Easter 2021

One of my favourite stories in the Bible is the one about the criminals on the Cross:

Luke 23:39-43

“One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, "So you're the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself - and us, too, while you're at it!"

But the other criminal protested, "Don't you fear God even when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn't done anything wrong."

Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."

And Jesus replied, "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise." 

This criminal recognized that he was a sinner and deserved punishment. He also recognized who Jesus was and acknowledged this by placing himself into the hands of Jesus in his dying minutes. And Jesus responded. Jesus was on the Cross with His arms outstretched – as if He was including His invitation to everyone, good or bad, to accept His forgiveness. He was extending His love and acceptance without reserve.

People often receive a precious last chance to understand and accept the wonderful truth of what Jesus’ death on the Cross really means – even if it is in their dying moments.

In 2 Peter 3 verse 9 we read:

“The Lord isn't really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent.”

God’s mercy and grace is so amazing – I am included in His wonderful invitation to accept salvation through Jesus, the forgiveness of my sins, and the assurance of being with Him in eternity. 

What a glorious reason to celebrate Easter!


By Harry Brasem


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