My name is Zaccheaus, Zac for short, and you may have heard of me. I’m the one who is short and climbed a tree to see Jesus, only for Him to invite himself to my house for tea.
It was long ago, and I am old now, but I look back with fondness, with horror and with disgust at the man I used to be. At the man I was, before Jesus changed me, before I was set free, and forgiven.
I was a very wealthy man, I still am, if you compare me with those around me that have nothing. But I share my wealth now, and use it for good, unlike before.
In those days, I cooked the books, believed in creative accounting, which basically meant I got richer and everyone else became poorer. I lied and cheated, and behaved appallingly, but all this did not stop Jesus from calling my name, and although I was a sinner He called me friend.
I remember the day as if it were yesterday. The streets were lined at every corner, with crowds of excited people. Jesus was coming to town. I knew of this Jesus, by reputation anyway, you could not have lived in Jericho at that time, and not have heard of Him.
I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, I wanted to know if He deserved such a reputation, I needed to see for myself.
However, therein lay the problem. I was so short I couldn’t see anything, only the armpits of the person in front of me. Suddenly, I had a cunning plan. I ran along the road and climbed a sycamore tree. This was perfect, I thought, I can see Him, but He can’t see me.
How wrong was I?
Not long after I had settled myself down, I was disturbed.
Someone was calling my name. At first, I stayed quiet, I hoped I would blend in with the leaves. I was not a popular guy, so I prayed that the person that had spoken had mixed me up with someone else and that they would soon move on. But the calling persisted.
Who was it that called, and what did they want?
Eventually, as the crowds gathered at the foot of my tree, and the discontented mutterings increased, I realised that it was Jesus who was talking to me, and not just talking, but inviting Himself to tea.
I climbed down, and as I opened the door of my house I realised that the door of my heart had been prised open too. This man knew all about me, He saw through my lies and exposed my cheating.
He never condemned me, it was I who condemned myself, because in the light of his goodness my evil was laid bare.
He called me a son of Abraham, as He offered me forgiveness. I in turn gave half of my possessions to the poor, and paid back three-fold those whom I had cheated.
He told me that salvation had come. I didn’t know what that was, but I knew things could never be the same, and they never have been.
(From the Book ‘In the Shadows of Victory: Ride The Rollercoaster of Holy Week’ by Deacon Becky Lovatt.
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With many peaceful blessings