"So he got up and went to his father, but while he was still a long 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."
Can a love like this really exist? It sounds almost impossible that it could. In fact, it sounds downright wrong for it to exist. In face of such a rebellious son, he deserves to be punished. He knows it, his family knows it, and everyone reading knows it as well. How uncomfortable this prodigal son must have felt receiving so freely that which he didn't deserve. It just doesn't feel right. In fact he wanted to earn his forgiveness from the beginning!
We don't hear much else about this son, about how he chose to live his life afterwards when confronted with such amazing grace, whether deep down inside he could ever forgive himself even though his father so freely forgives. It begs the question, how can we, when confronted with the righteous love of God, help but feel like the most depraved being? How in the world can we live with ourselves when what we are is so broken and filthy? It seems then only natural the closer we get to God, the more we dislike ourselves.
But while we were still a long ways off from the Father, he ran to us because he couldn't wait for us to get to him.
Who is like the LORD?