God in the Trenches
“. . . hurry and come down, . . .” Luke 19:5
Trying to get a glimpse of Jesus. That’s all Zacchaeus was hoping to do. He never imagined his time in the tree would lead to meeting Jesus personally. In one moment a line was drawn straight across his life. The rumor of Jesus coming to town turned to fact; now he stands face-to-face with Jesus.
The whole impact of the gospel is seen in this one meeting, for Zacchaeus’ meeting Jesus made all the difference. It redeemed his past, transformed his present, and redirected the future. This salvific picture runs us right into 2 Corinthians 5:17 “. . . if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; . . .”
God stepped out of bounds. Out of religion. Into the uncharted territory of the lost and least. No one around Jesus ever understood His habit of running off among the odd, the outcast, and the overlooked. He went casting about for publicans and the poor. Nobody who ever hears the footsteps of the Son of Man trampling on the shoulder of the road has ever been able to get over the haunting realization that they are of value to the Heavenly Father. And that God is in the trenches with sinners.
The grumbling crowd called Zacchaeus a sinner, but who’s not? To them he was a sinner because he was a tax collector. They failed to realize their grumbling was a greater sin. The purpose of the gospel was its offense. The gospel tramples over our pride, upsets our prejudice and irks our sensibilities.
Zacchaeus was a sinner. He was in good company, before him there was Moses the murderer, Abraham the liar, Jacob the thief, then Rahab the harlot, Ruth the woman of Moab, and David the adulterer.
Whatever your sin may be, rest assured you fit right in with all the others. Amongst all the labels and every blind-reach of discontent, we must not lose sight of the fact God found them all, and brought them into His Presence.
Whenever we hide ourselves in dark corners, there are wounded hands reaching out to us, to gently love us out of hiding.
Let God find you today. Listen to His invitation to life.