And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham.”
How delightful the incident brought before us! Here was a man under the curse of the law, helpless to deliver himself, yet saved by pure grace and immediately manifesting the fruit of the new life. He was a thief. He had violated not only the eighth commandment, but the tenth, and others too. He was under sentence of death. The law demanded his destruction. But Jesus came to reveal the grace of God and to free repentant sinners from the condemnation of the broken law. That very condemnation Christ was Himself to bear within a few days. In view of it, Zacchaeus could be, and was justified before God, regenerated by His divine power and made a new man. How vivid the contrast between the law and the Gospel!
Out of the distance and darkness so deep,
Out of the settled and perilous sleep;
Out of the region and shadow of death,
Out of its foul and pestilent breath;
Out of the bondage, and wearying chains,
Out of companionship ever with stains;
Into the light and the glory of God,
Into the holiest made clean by blood;
Into His arms—the embrace and the kiss—
Into the scene of ineffable bliss;
Into the quiet, the infinite calm,
Into the place of the song and the psalm.
H. A. Ironside, The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1994), 214.