Would she forgive him? This was the burning question on his mind. His infidelity had so scarred their relationship that it seemed a hopeless dream now that they could ever be reconciled. But when he saw the tears in her eyes and heard her say she loved him, that hopeless dream became a reality. The joy of this brought him to tears.
Reconciliation is the blooming bud on the flower of salvation. It is the final goal for which Christ died. It is the reversal of the separation and disunity between God and humans. It is that result of Christ’s death that God the Father has been longing for.
The separation between us is, of course, our fault. Paul explains,
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation (Colossians 1:21,22).
Reconciliation means that once we and God were going in opposite directions, but now we are walking together. Only Christ’s death could effect this re-uniting because God’s justice demanded the death penalty for our opposition.
There is a special assurance that comes from the knowledge that in Christ we are reconciled to God. Paul reasons that , “if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life” (Romans 5:10). If God loved us enough to restore us when we hated Him, now that we are friends again, we need never fear experiencing His wrath. We cannot lose our salvation.
Reconciliation also has an amazing social dynamic. When people are at odds with God they also cannot help but be at odds with other people. But when Christ, the Messiah of Israel, gave Himself as a substitute for sinners, He did it that He might reconcile both Jews and Gentiles to God “in this one body…through the cross” and so make peace (Ephesians 2:15,16). So there is “neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). There is no basis for disunity at a social level among believers. We are each now friends of the living God and therefore each other’s friends. How could we not be reconciled to the ones God is reconciled to?
So, what should have been the most tragic event in all of history has become the salvation of the world. What was performed by the wickedness of men was designed to atone for that very wickedness. What seemed like the final flicker of the candle was the prelude to the resurrection. Sacrifice, redemption, justification, and reconciliation. “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).