Luk 15:18 I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. Luk 15:19 I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants." ' Luk 15:20 "He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luk 15:21 The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' Luk 15:22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. Luk 15:23 Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat, and celebrate; Luk 15:24 for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.' They began to celebrate.
For all the wonderful lessons we can glean from this parable, I want to share this as a lesson of reconciliation. At this point in the story, we have the son rehearsing what he is going to say so that he can have a place to stay back with his father. Before he arrived, his father demonstrates reconciliation by running to him and expressing tender love to him. Yes, from the perspective of the father, his son is reconciled to him.
What about the son though? Well, from his perspective he is not, and so he proceeds with his prepared speech. This is important. The son is reconciled to the father, and yet the son still needs to be reconciled to the father. So the father ignores his son's speech and orders a big party and further demonstrates that his son is reconciled to him, that all is well. We can presume, based on the father speaking of his son as being found, that his son finally accepted the fact that his father had reconciled him to himself. Reconciliation between father and son was complete, from both perspectives.
This is exactly the case with our heavenly Father and us. Notice how Paul describes it:
2Co 5:18 But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; 2Co 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2Co 5:20 We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Notice that God reconciled the entire world to himself in Christ, doing it by not reckoning to them their trespasses. From God's perspective everyone is reconciled to him, just as in the case of the father and son in Jesus parable.
Yet, man still needs to be reconciled to God, because until he believes that God is reconciled to him, he lives as the son did, as though he were not reconciled. This is why the message of reconciliation was given, so that man could be encouraged to be reconciled to God.
God is not waiting for you to do anything so that he can reconcile you to himself. He has already done everything necessary to show that you are reconciled to him. He wants to bring us to the point of contact with that truth by believing it to be true, so that we can know and live in the truth of that reconciliation, just as the son in the parable ended up doing. What good news!