Friday, November 23, 2012

Doorway of the Perfect Prince

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the
Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.”
Psalm 100: 4-5

The ease gate as it stands today
 Today, as I continued my reading through Ezekiel, I was drawn again to a passage about a gate, the east gate in particular. In the below verse you will see that the east gate was a special gate, one for a prince to enter and by which he made his offerings before the people who were entering the other gates.

“Thus says the Lord God: 'The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened. The prince shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway from the outside, and stand by the gatepost. The priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings. He shall worship at the threshold of the gate. Then he shall go out, but the gate shall not be shut until evening.'” Ezekiel 46:1-2

As I looked through a lot of commentaries and biblical references about the east gate, here are some interesting facts I found:

  • The east gate speaks of a prince that comes on a regular basis, this continual reference therefore does not point directly to the messiah as the sole prince who was to offer sacrifices after passing through this gate
  • The east is the direction from which the prince of Persia come and overtook the nation of Israel, but at the same time this prince was also referred to as a “Shepherd” of the nation of Israel who would finally bring the people back to restore their nation heading in the same manner, from the east
  • The east gate is known as the golden gate
  • The east gate in Nehemiah 3:29 tells that this gate is the gate in which"...the glory of the Lord came into the house (the temple or the Lord's house) by the way of the gate..." 
  • Outside the east gate is where there is a huge graveyard where Jewish people believe the beginning of the procession into heaven will be and therefore their bodies wait there for that day. (They are like the epitome of the Black Friday shoppers who are waiting for the best of the best deal outside the ultimate storehouse.)
  • The east gate is now under Muslim control is completely walled off.

Something else that I want to point out in more detail, is the relationship Jesus' ultimate role in entering through the gate as the worldly princes who entered through the east gate before him led the way to His ultimate sacrifice.

In relation to the sacrifice offered by Jesus, Hebrews offer us some really good insight.

And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God...” Hebrews 10:11-12

The princes of the world who were to enter through the gate were to continue with regular sacrifices, but Jesus is the one who offered a perfect sacrifice and to show that what He had offered was complete, He sat down. Now you must understand there was not a place to sit for the priests or the prince in the temple – their work was never to be completed and the act of sitting down signified completion. The fact that Jesus sat down indicates that His work was done once and for all.

But, that is not the end of the story. The east gate at this time may be walled off by those who do not want Jesus to return in His glory, but a physical wall cannot keep the Prince of Peace from making His final and everlasting entrance into this world where He will open the gate for all who are ready to be called the sons and daughters, the princes and princesses, of His kingdom for the remainder of eternity.

Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” Matthew 25:1-13


Jesus alone will open and close the gate, but there are conditions as to who will have the ability to pass through and only those who are ready will be close enough to know the gate is open and the time has come to enter. If we are near the sanctuary of God, have lamps filled, and our watch unhampered, then when the door opens we will be included in the procession. But beware when the cares of this life take your heart away from the sanctuary, when you deplete your faithfulness to the Lord on the cares of this world, and when you let yourself become distracted from your watch for the coming of the Lord.

As the holiday season is starting, and the busyness of making all things merry and bright are upon us, take some time to plan out how you can keep your heart steadfast on the Lord above all else so that your faithfulness to Jesus' calling and His light are not hindered by anything you do to prepare for the celebration of His the birth, the One true Gate to heaven – Jesus the Christ.

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