The story of Zacchaeus illustrates that it is the end of the story that matters. Zacchaeus was a wealthy tax-collector, so he had lived his life taking advantage of people. When he meets Jesus, he turns his life around. Jesus also illustrates that he has left us here on earth to accomplish things for him. Jesus then enters Jerusalem to move toward his arrest, trials and death. At this point he is welcomed, but that will quickly change.
We can feel reassured that God accepted Zacchaeus. No matter what we have done in the past, we can still turn to God and make our relationship right with him!