by David Fryer
‘This my son was dead, and is alive again. He was lost and is found.’ Luke 15:24. This verse, as many will know, is found in the parable of the Prodigal Son.
In God’s time, still to come, there will be a remnant of Israel, like the prodigal son away in ‘a far country’, whose eyes will be opened to remember the Father’s love, goodness and promises to them. They will arise, a nation born in a day, as He will give them a new heart. He is yet to bring that time about, when He shall go forth in love, compassion and forgiveness, and restore that which was lost to the scene of blessing and rejoicing. Then it shall be said, ‘Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ Psalm 118:26
It has been something like this for us Gentiles who were once afar off, without hope and without Christ. God saw our hopeless condition and has bestowed on us untold blessings in Christ. We have forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace, and He makes us acceptable before Him in His dear Son, Ephesians 1:6, even we who were by nature, children of wrath and children of disobedience, clad only in ‘the rags of a far country’. What love, mercy and forgiveness shown to us Gentiles now in Christ Jesus!
Let us return to the story of the prodigal son. The father, in righteousness, could not have the son seated at his table with the ‘rags of the far country’ still on him. Also, it would not have been grace had the father waited for the son to deck himself out in robes of his own providing. But both grace and righteousness shone forth when the father went out to receive his son, and clothed him in a manner suited to that happy and blessed occasion. ‘Bring forth the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.’ Luke 15:22
Here is the father’s provision of grace and righteousness for his son who was lost but now was found. What joy and blessing for Israel when that day comes for them. Isaiah 61:10 prophesies, ‘My soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.’
In a somewhat parallel way, what joy and blessing is now ours whom God our Father has brought from the ‘rags’ of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son by grace, and covering each of us with the ‘best robe’ – the righteousness of His dear Son, now making us together ‘accepted in the Beloved’ before Him. Ephesians 1:16