Years ago Ernest Hemingway wrote a story about a Spanish father and his son Paco who had a falling out, causing the boy to run away from his home to Madrid. Eventually, the father went to look for his son, wanting to reconcile and be with him again. So he took out an ad in a local newspaper. It read, “Paco, meet me at Hotel Montaña at noon Tuesday. All is forgiven. Papa.” When that Tuesday arrived, Paco’s father went to the hotel to see if his son still wanted his love. There gathered at the hotel were eight hundred young men, all named Paco!
What those Pacos all wanted, Jesus is giving away. He came as the perfect Son who was willing to die in our place so that everyone who trusts in him would have a forgiving and gracious Father. The words spoken at Jesus’ baptism are true for us too: “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17). Our Father, due to the death of his Son, calls us his sons and daughters. He is no longer angry or indifferent but, rather, “well pleased.” His face is shining upon us and smiling with grace toward us.
Life gives us few guarantees. We don’t know if our neighbors will be nice, our families will be functional, or our bodies will avoid breaking down. But we can rely on this single glorious truth—All is forgiven. We are eternally loved by our Father in heaven.