Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 7 Today Salvation Has Come

The picture here is a sycamore tree in the central square in Jericho. Sycamore trees are very big. I had the chance to actually stand in front of this very tree last year when I was on pilgrimage in Israel, but unlike this picture we didn't climb it!!

This Sycamore tree plays an important role in the gospels. Jesus was coming through Jericho when he met Zachaeus, a rich tax collector. The gospel of Luke (19:1-10) tells us that Jesus told Zachaeus to come down out of that tree because Jesus wanted to come to his house because "salvation has come." What's the big deal you say?

Zachaeus was a combo of the mafia and the IRS, shaking down people to pay their taxes and he gleaned some off the top for his own income. To make matters worse he was Jewish.

Despite all of this Jesus tells Zachaeus that salvation has come!

Salvation in Hebrew means "healing" or "restoration"

Zachaeus was very much a pariah during his life, no one liked him.

He was considered a traitor.

He was considered a Roman sympathizer.

He was considered an outlaw.

Jesus came to his house because and restoration has come.

Zachaeus didn't deserve it or do anything to win Jesus' love or grace. It was a free gift that day.

Salvation has come to our house too. Jesus comes to each and every one of us saying salvation has come despite the fact that you don't deserve it.

Salvation is pure grace.