Next Sunday begins the journey through the gates.
But, within a few days, we watch as his ministry on earth appears to crumble. Plots against him escalate. He and his disciples hide out in an upper room to celebrate the Passover, then pass through the city gates to a mount in a secluded olive grove.
One of them betrays Him,and the rest scatter, denying that they know Him in fear of meeting the same fate as He is to meet as he is dragged through the gates into the courts. The crowds choose a well-known criminal to pardon instread of Jesus and after much flogging and mocking,
He carries his cross through the streets, pass the main city gates and unto a hill. There he is nailed tothe beams of wood, and suffers unto death.
But the story doesn’t end. Unbeknowst to the world, Jesus enters the gates of Hell to conquer the power of Satan — sin and death — once and for all. He took our sins upon the cross,carried them to Hell, and then built the bridge for us to Heaven.
Then rejoice! The stone is rolled away and He is risen. Now the gates of Heaven are open wide, as Don McClean sung in his wonderful Easter song, as seen through Peter’s eyes, “He’s Alive”.
What gates are in your life right now? Are they opened to Jesus entering through them, or have you closed them, slapped on a heavy lock and stepped away? We face all kinds of gates. Joyful ones like entering into marriage, or going off to college, or having a baby, and maybe entering your financially secure retirement years- is there such a thing now? Maybe the gates are sorrowful- the last Hospice days of a loved one, the unexpected diagnosis from your doctor, the papers served to tell you your spouse wants to end the marriage. Maybe the are gates of unknown. A job change, moving to a new city, leaving home, entering the mission field abroad.
There is one common denominator in all these scenarios, and the upcoming Holy Week from Palm Sunday through Easter shows that. Whatever the gate is – Jesus is there. Let Him walk through it with you. Gates have no power over Him. So give thanks and praise His name. Then hold His hand and enter in.
Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Psalm 24:7
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100 :4