Thursday, January 12, 2012

Portaits of Forgiveness (Part 1)

A beautiful perspective on forgiveness is given to us in the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. We actually can see three different kind of hearts. This story here in Luke 15 is often called the story of the Prodigal Son. The word Prodigal means "wasteful". But this story could also be called "Story of the Loving Father" or of "the Forgiving Father". This story really emphasizes the graciousness of the father more than the sinfulness of the son. Unlike the shepherd and the women in the earlier part of the chapter, the father did not go out and seek the son, but it was the memory of his father's goodness that brought the young man to repentance and forgiveness (Romans 2:4 reminds us that the goodness of God leads men to repent. That is what brought this rebellious son back.

Looking at the portion then we see three sides of this story that concerns this prodigal son. In verses 11-16 we see his rebellion, he went to the far country. That is a picture of each of us in our lost condition in rebellion against God. Isaiah 53 reminds us that "all we like sheep have gone astray, We have turned everyone to his own way." Then we see his repentance, he comes to himself (v17-19. Lastly, we see his rejoicing, when he came to his father (v20-24). It is interesting to consider the father's description of his son's experience: he was dead, and was now alive; he was lost and was found. This is the spiritual experience of every lost sinner who comes to Father through faith in Jesus Christ (John 5:24, Ephesians 2:1-10). It is also interesting to note the parallels between the prodigals coming to the father and our coming to the Father through Christ (John 14:6):

The Prodigal 
He was lost (Luke 15:24) 
He was ignorant (Luke 15:17) 
He was dead (Luke 15:24)

Jesus Christ
"I am the Way"
"I am the Truth"
"I am the Life"

There is only One Way to come to the Father, and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. Have you come home?

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