In chapter 15 of his gospel Luke records three parables of the Lord Jesus Christ: the Shepherd's Lost Sheep, the Woman's Lost Coin and the Father's Lost Son. In each of these "that which was lost is found" and there is understandably much rejoicing. These parables were "earthly stories with a heavenly meaning" and the account of the Lost Son is arguably the most well known and often referred to simply as the "Pearl of Parables".
A Foolish Choice. The Father in the story had two sons and the younger selfishly asked his father for his inheritance. No doubt heart broken the Father gave it to him and the young man gathered it all together in order to leave home.
A Far Country. Now separated from his Father he throws off all parental restraint and control and seeks for "the wilder side of life" in a far country. Things were "good" when he had his money but it wasn't long before it was all gone and he began to grow hungry. Now sadly his new "friends" didn't want to know him and he ended up working for a pig farmer and actually considered eating their scraps!
A Full Confession. The son "came to himself". In other words he realised the error of his ways and thought of returning to his Father. He was willing to confess his sin and would have been happy to work as a servant back at home. He felt no longer worthy to be considered a son.
A Father's Compassion. The son was ashamed and yet he hoped his father would be gracious and he was. When his father saw him he was filled with compassion, ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. The son explained, " I have sinned against both heaven and you and I am longer worthy of being called your son." However the father would hear nothing of his willingness to be a servant and gave him a robe, a ring and new shoes for his feet. The feasting began and he would later tell his older son, "Your brother was dead and is alive again, he was lost, but is found!"
Do you know we are in many ways just like the rebellious son. Isaiah 53:6 tells us that, "All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our way own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all." God the Father gave the Lord Jesus to die for us at Calvary and will forgive us and welcome us if we repent and turn to him for salvation.
Heaven truly rejoices over one sinner that repents.