Three Journeys of Reconciliation
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:1, 8-11 NKJV
Reconciliation means to be brought back into friendship and harmony with God. It is to change thoroughly from, e.g., from sin to righteousness, from darkness to light, and from being an enemy of God to being a friend of God. It also provides for a restoration of divine favor. 2 Corinthians chapter 5 shows that reconciliation is a mindset (v. 19); it is a ministry (v. 18); and it is a message (vss. 19-20). Reconciliation is not a “one-time” event. It is a spiritual journey—by faith, traveling from one place to another: being reconciled to God, to one’s self, and to others.
There are three journeys of reconciliation. The best illustration of this trek is captured in Luke chapter 15 in the story Jesus told about the Prodigal Son. A father had two sons. The younger son typified a sinner and the father is a picture of God, our heavenly Father. After squandering his father’s livelihood with sinful and prodigal living, the younger son—broke, busted and disgusted—came to himself and repented (v. 17). He arose from the pig pen of sin and returned to his father. “But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (v. 20). This was reconciliation to the father (God). Please notice that God meets every sinner where they are. Then, after the younger son was reconciled to his father, the elder son was angry and unforgiving, the father urged him to be reconciled to his brother (v. 32).
These are the three journeys of reconciliation: forgiving yourself, receiving God’s forgiveness and favor, and forgiving your brother. Be reconciled to God, to yourself, and to others!