Jesus' Love Transforming Community

The Problem of Easter

Today’s Easter sermon focuses on what we might consider, “The Problem of Easter”. In the final moments of Jesus’ life, the two criminals crucified near him have very different responses. The first criminal chooses to mock Christ. The second asks that Jesus would remember him when he enters the Kingdom. In response, Jesus says that the man will indeed be in paradise. The problem with this statement is that Jesus is giving away grace and forgiveness for free. In our culture, we want to earn our way and pay our debts to others. In stark contrast, this criminal is forgiven for whatever they may have done without any earning of this blessing. Even more scandalous is that the criminal is in the final hours of his life and won’t ever have a chance to repay this forgiveness. The problem of Easter is that God’s forgiveness is freely offered to us, no matter what efforts we have made to earn it or be worthy. The truth is that we can’t earn it or be worthy of it.