An Easter Message
The Prodigal Father
This Easter, I want to share with you a beautiful insight about a story we all know so well, a story that we usually call, “The Prodigal Son.” But in our focus on the son, we miss something that is at the very heart of what Easter is all about.
The word prodigal means, “wasteful, reckless, extravagant; giving or yielding profusely; lavish or abundant.” We say the story is about the prodigal son because we are focused on the way the son recklessly wasted his money. But I think Jesus intended to draw our attention to the father, who freely, extravagantly and yes, even recklessly, poured out his love and grace on his very undeserving son! I guess you could say this is the story of “The Prodigal Father.” Said another way, it’s a story about the father’s “Reckless Love.”
It’s about God’s reckless love!
Maybe when you think of your life, you think of all the ways that you have been wasteful and unwise. You see all your faults and failures and shortcomings. I want you to understand something. This is not about you. It’s not about how far you’ve drifted and how much you’ve strayed. It’s about a loving Father who loves you so much he gave everything for you. It’s about a reckless love that would do anything to reach you! It’s not about your reckless life – it’s about God’s reckless love!
One of my favorite Scriptures is Romans 8:32; “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” God gave His Son, knowing that many people would spit in His face, reject Him and even mock His gift of love. Yet, God freely, lavishly and selflessly gave the best He had for you. That is reckless love. If God would give His own Son for you, you can be sure that He is willing to give you anything and everything else that you need.
The cross was more than a symbol
This verse shows that the cross is the ultimate evidence of God’s reckless love. At the cross, Jesus accepted the worst that humankind had to offer – injustice, hatred, prejudice, pride, violence, betrayal and murder. Without a fight, He took the sins of the world upon Himself. And in return, He gave the best that God has to offer – forgiveness, humility, gentleness, generosity, faithfulness, truthfulness, salvation and love. But the cross was more than a symbol; it is the very means whereby God is able to extend mercy and justice while remaining completely righteous. You see, if God had simply ignored our sin, that would have been unjust. But, if we all received the justice we deserve, we would all be damned. Instead, Jesus took our punishment upon Himself (justice) and offers us forgiveness and peace with God on His account (mercy).
This Easter, I pray that you will be overcome, overwhelmed, swept away in the revelation of the Father’s reckless love. May you see yourself as He sees you – worthy of the very best He had to give; His only, precious son.
Yours in the Father’s love,
Evangelist Daniel Kolenda
*contains an excerpt from “Reckless Love” by Daniel Kolenda