The father-son relationship had suffered disconnect for fifteen years when the young man was convicted to reconnect with his dad. He realized he had judged a man he had no right to judge back when he was a teenager. His dad had been a combat war veteran and suffered significant trauma as a fighter pilot in World War II. Today it is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But in his day, men dealt with it by self-medicating with alcohol or drugs. The collateral damage was significant.
The Father-man relationship suffered disconnect in the Garden of Eden when Adam failed to obey, (Genesis 3:6). Man tried to reconnect with God through animal sacrifices and religious rituals but could not get above his sin. There was a barrier between man and God that man could not remove. The collateral damage has been significant.
“Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’” - John 20:17. Upon resurrection, Jesus’ words to Mary in the garden reconnected man with what got disconnected in the original garden experience, relationship with the Father through the Son. On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After He said this, He showed them His hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. – John 20:19-20. That first Easter morning found the disciples hiding in fear for their lives. They were trying to process their disconnect with Jesus. The One they thought was the Christ had been killed, on a cross no less. Were they to try to press on in ministry that would most likely end as it did for Jesus? Or were they to blend back in with the culture and return to the work they were doing prior to meeting Jesus? Time passed from Friday to Sunday and Jesus appears to them saying, “Peace be with you!” – All the teaching, all the parables and all the miracles all of the sudden made sense. Jesus had conquered death and was standing among them! Nothing the Roman government was doing or the religious authorities were spewing had sway over that moment. Jesus had risen! He walked out of the tomb victorious over death, and appeared to His disciples and to the many. This was God’s plan all along – Only by the grace of God through His Son Jesus the Christ, can man reconcile and reconnect with the Father.
The young man was indeed convicted of sin in judging his dad, for failing to honor him as his father and subsequently severing the relationship for fifteen years. He asked his dad to forgive him. Forgiveness was granted. They reconciled and reconnected in relationship. Through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross, man is granted an opportunity to reconcile and reconnect with the Father. The charge to dads this Easter season is to live into the Father’s example. Put barriers to relationship at the foot of the cross, reconcile and reconnect in full by His grace and for His glory. Blessings will flow across generations.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and Your Son. I confess that I have closed the door on too many relationships by way of inappropriate judgment. Forgive me. My judgment is not of You but of the evil one. It must be rebuked so I can live into the fullness of relationship I am called to embrace to a new level across the Easter season. Grant me discernment to lead my family in nurturing healthy relationships that glorify the Father. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father initiates reconciliation and reconnection in relationships.