Every year I am involved in many RE classes in Secondary Schools across Swansea with 24 Hours that Changed the World, detailing the last 24 hours of Jesus' life. After the session the pupils ask their questions. It is always a special time as they come up with different and often difficult questions. However this year was very special indeed - in one school - after considering the great exchange of the thief at the Cross asked "How can God forgive that thief so easily and not a good person?"
It is a deep and profound question - How can God forgive as a nasty character and not simply those who are good. Well it is all an act of Grace...
Grace - God gives us the things we don't deserve - love, hope for the future, forgiveness of sins, joy everlasting. All of these are found at the Cross. The Hymn writer put it best when he wrote:- Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind but now I see.
In God's economy, everyone is at the same level - every man, woman, child, thief, billionaire, or 'good guy'. In God's eyes we all do things wrong, and yet, in that very moment at the Cross. The thief is told "Today you will be with me in Paradise". Jesus declares to the whole world that despite our sin, we can be free by Grace. Not through our own performance, but by His amazing Grace at work at the Cross.
It is by grace you have been saved through faith it is not of yourselves it is a gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)
So take time this Easter, as you tuck in your Hot Cross Buns and have that sugar rush from all the chocolate. Easter is all about Grace. Grace from a loving almighty God to a sinful world. Let's celebrate and shout it from the roof tops. Jesus is Alive! Grace is available to all who 'believe in His name'.