When we commit sin, we always regret it later; it eats us up on the inside. Our conscience is disturbed and we’re not at peace. Occasionally, we become so stressed we might even do something to try and right our wrong.
Even if it’s decades later…like this man living in Seattle.
During the Christmas season of 2011, Gary Lorentson, the manager of a Sears in downtown Seattle said an elderly, unnamed man has repaid — with interest — the cash he says he stole in the 1940s. Lorentson claims the man hand-delivered an envelope addressed to the “Sears manager” and inside was a note and a $100 bill.
The note simply stated that the man had stolen “$20 to $30” from a cash register decades ago and the enclosed $100 was his attempt to square himself.
Security cameras inside the store recorded the gentleman delivering his envelope, but Sears’ officials said they did not know him, and they refuse to make the video public. The managerial team plans to use the money to help needy families during the holiday season.
2,000 years ago, Jesus met a guy who confessed to stealing money from others, too. Take a look at what happened in Luke 19:1-10.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
None of us, Zacchaeus or the elderly man from Seattle, can “pay pack” our sin. Only Jesus can settle our sin. And while the elderly gentlemen from Seattle might have been motivated by guilt or shame, Zacchaeus was motivated by Jesus’ forgiveness.
What will you do because you’ve been forgiven by Jesus?
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