Scripture: Luke 15:11-32:
One of my favorite pieces of art is The Return of the Prodigal Son as depicted by Rembrandt. I have a large framed print of it in my living room and have spent hours of worship as I have gazed upon it.
It reminds me of how the Father through His marvelous grace rescued me from the life of a prodigal son and how, later, he delivered me from the life of an elder brother that I had begun to embrace through my legalism.
It is truly a powerful picture of GOD’s grace, forgiveness, and redemption. It is a picture of Easter. JESUS, sent by the Father, came into the world for this purpose . . . to forgive sinners and to redeem us from an existence of law bearing.
Our salvation is something to celebrate as the father in this story did when his prodigal son returned home. As we fully embrace His grace we are protected from the elder son syndrome.
But if we fall victim to this legalistic horror there is still the possibility of forgiveness and redemption as we see in this story. The father went out to find him (v. 28). He didn’t holler from a distance and command his son to come into the house. He goes out to his son. And the father began “imploring” him, which means he was wooing, appealing, and pleading with him.
In verse 31 the father called him “my child” which in the original language was an intimate and tender term. He told his son “you have always been with me every day and every night; everything I have is already yours.” There are so many in the Church do not have hearts for the father. He is not their treasure but they are just as worldly as the prodigal.
Easter is the Father’s invitation to come in from the foreign country of misery and to come in from the front porch of hard-earned merit. Both are deadly.
JESUS is Risen . . . !