The younger brother took his inheritance and went into a far country, where he squandered his wealth on worldly pleasures. Soon he found himself destitute. "Pleasures are like poppies spread."
In his desperation to survive he became a feeder of pigs. Unclean. He joined himself = He glued himself. He was so hungry that he may have eaten the pig's food. This proud young man is now deserted and destitute.
In this condition he began to think. He remembered his father's house, etc. After much thought he decided to do something about his plight. He decided to go back to his father in repentance, acknowledge his sin, and ask for forgiveness. "I have sinned against God, and against you." The seriousness of sin. To be saved we must repent of our sin. "God be merciful to me" Luke 18:13.
The father saw him a great way off. He was scanning the horizon, and saw him, and ran toward him, embraced him, and planted the kiss of reconciliation and forgiveness on his cheek. Put the best robe on him, and put a ring on his finger, and sandals on his feet. No servant was ever clothed like this. There was great joy in that house that day.
The Seeking Father
Let us now change the scene and consider the seeking and grieving father. Consider his grief—think what he went through. Who suffered most, the son or the father? Mother after P.O.W. experience. "O Donald, O Donald," Brother Archie Clarke.
Listen to the Savior revealing the heart of God. "O Jerusalem, O Jerusalem" etc. Luke 13:34.
In these words Jesus tells us of the yearning that is in the heart of God, not only for Jerusalem, but for you dear sinner friend. Luke 20.
Think what it cost our heavenly Father to redeem lost mankind. The heart breaking cries of the Son—the inability of the Father to help. "Why are you so far from saving Me, so far from the words of My groaning?" "Be not far from Me , come quickly and help 'Me.' Deliver Me! Rescue Me! Save Me! Jesus cried out, "Save Me, O God, for the waters are come in unto my soul." Psalm 69.
On April 12th 1912 the great liner Titanic left Southampton for New York, on her maiden voyage. She was billed as "the unsinkable ship," 66,000 tons of machinery and magnificence. Five days after leaving Southampton she was at the bottom of the Atlantic. What happened? She struck an iceberg which tore a three hundred foot gash in her side so that the cold waters of the Atlantic rushed in and "the unsinkable ship" sank. What a tragedy!
Two thousand years ago God launched a mighty vessel on the seas of time. In the little town of Bethlehem the Son of God became the Son of man and entered into human life. The seas of sin surged all around Him, He rubbed shoulders with sinners. His brothers and sisters were sinners. They quarreled, told lies, had temper tantrums, they were disobedient to their parents, and self-willed. His closest companions were sinful men. Boasting Peter--doubting Thomas--hot tempered James and John--thieving Judas. Despite the sin that surged around Him, His storm tossed bark remained impeccably holy, sinless and undefiled.
But at Calvary the Lord struck an iceberg, and the waters came rushing into His soul. The sin of the world surged in--"He was made sin for us." As the horror of this ordeal gripped His soul He cried out to His Father, "Save Me! Save Me!"
For every person that ever lived there is a Savior. But there was no Savior for Him, if there was to be a Savior for us.
To carry this further, Jesus said, "Save Me O God - for I sink in deep mire where there is no standing."
There was a gate in Jerusalem called the dung gate. Below this gate in the valley of Tophet, was the accumulated filth of the city. The worst experience that could befall a person was to slip and fall into that horrible manure heap of human excrement. To the Savior on the cross something far worse happened. All the sin--impurity--pollution--dirtiness--filthiness--foulness of the human race was deluged upon Him in that horrific cesspool and He was sinking beneath it all. Despite His desperate cry, "Save Me! Save Me!" there was no answer. "All Thy waves and billows" etc. Can you imagine how God, the Father felt about all this? God forsook Him. Finally My God etc.
"Is it nothing to you all ye that pass by." What will you do with Jesus?
This morning the seeking Father is looking over the bulwarks of heaven, He sees the Good Shepherd searching for you, the lost sheep. He sees the Spirit reaching out to you, the lost coin. "Is it nothing to you all ye that pass by." "For none of the ransomed" etc.
"All this I have done for you, what have you done for Me?" Will you take Jesus Christ as your personal Savior this morning? "What will the answer be, what will the answer be."