We’ve been looking at the names of God and how his names help us understand him better. This week I want to look at the name, ‘The Gate’.
In John’s gospel, the Son of God calls himself the gate: ‘Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep”’ (John 10:7).
What does Jesus mean? Firstly, the sheep Jesus is referring to are those people who will be accepted into heaven when he returns. Jesus says in Matthew’s gospel: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world”’ (Matthew 25:31-34).
So when Jesus tells us that he is the gate for the sheep, he is telling us that he is the way to eternal life in heaven. He says this in the next verses of the same passage in John’s gospel: ‘All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:8-10).
But how do people enter through Jesus as the gate? By having faith in Christ’s death on the cross for their sins. The apostle Paul says: ‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God’ (Romans 5:1-2).
Because of our sins, a fence has been placed around heaven and no one can pass through it. But by his death, Jesus has opened a way, a gate, into heaven.
Every time someone believes in Jesus, they are washed by his blood and cleansed from all unrighteousness and pass freely into the eternal life that will one day be lived in heaven itself.
No wonder we call the message from God, ‘Good News’.
No wonder Christians live confident, joy-filled lives. They have heard the words of the author of Hebrews: ‘Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water’ (Hebrews 10:19-22).
So do you call Jesus, ‘The Gate’? Have you passed through Christ by faith into eternal life? Do you rejoice in the life that now courses through your soul as you await your resurrection in the new heavens and the new earth?