You know those moments where you’re in a certain state of mind and you later come to your senses? It happens to all of us at one point or another. When it happens, the important thing to consider is what we do, and where we go, after we come to our senses.
After the prodigal son demanded his inheritance, skipped town and wasted all his substance (Luke 15:11-32), he came to himself and decided to go back to his father (God) for help. As a matter of fact, the prodigal son prepared his remarks to not only acknowledge his sins but his unworthiness of being called a son. Verse 21 tells us that he did not back down from his speech, and we know from the rest of the parable that the father (God) forgave his son, welcomed him home and threw a big celebration.
A similar situation can be found in gospel accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus was crucified along with two other men, one on either side of Jesus. Various observers of the crucifixion said horrible things to Jesus, and so did the thieves (Matthew 27:44, Mark 15:32). At some point, one of the malefactors realizes there is something different about Jesus, something special (Luke 23:39-43). When one of the thieves rails on Jesus, saying, “If though be Christ, save thyself and us,” the other thief rebukes his fellow malefactor, acknowledges Jesus’ innocence and tells the Lord to remember him when he enters his kingdom. Jesus, of course, responds that the two of them will be together in paradise. Nonetheless, my focus for today is that this account in Luke shows the moment where the thief came to his senses.
Is there something you’ve been doing that you shouldn’t? Have you wasted things, things you demanded? Moreover, have you ever accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and asked Him to save you? You can do that right now, regardless of where you are reading this information. That is what makes grace that much more amazing.
If you are feeling unworthy, don’t be. The prodigal son was at such a low point that he began eyeballing the slop he was using to feed pigs. He knew his Father could help him, but he no longer felt he deserved to be called a son. The father was just happy to have his boy home. Meanwhile, the thief-who-got-saved was nailed to a cross and most likely dying of suffocation from his crucifixion. Jesus met him in paradise. That’s after their bottom had fallen out. That’s after their hour of need. Francesca Battistelli sings a little something about that in a song called Worth It:
What you gonna do when the bottom falls out
And you’re left with nothing but your fear and your doubt to hold to
What’s gonna hold you?
Oh, where you gonna run when it’s all on the line
And you’re looking for someone to save your life
To save your life
No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, you too can be just like the prodigal or thief on the cross. The important thing is to (1) know what to do, and (2) seek the father. Jesus said, “I and the father are one (John 10:30).” Jesus is also the way to the Father (John 14:6). Come to your senses, go to Him. Afterwards, help lead others to Him.