The most moving sites from our family’s trip to Israel a few years ago were those relating to the last days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, His crucifixion, and His resurrection.
In these days leading to this year’s Resurrection Sunday, I’m posting a different kind of series—a picture from this trip, especially from the Jerusalem area, with a few thoughts relating to that scene. Most of the pictures will not fall on the day of the week in which the correlating event occurred, but I trust they will turn your thoughts toward Christ in this week leading to the Resurrection.
While Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, He could look out and see the Eastern Gate. In fact, the picture above is a view of the Eastern Gate taken from the Garden of Gethsemane.
Around 600 BC Ezekiel prophesied that later this gate would be sealed and that after its sealing the Messiah would come through this gate to establish His kingdom.
Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut. Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.—Ezekiel 44:1-3
The old city of Jerusalem has eight gates, but this is the only one that is sealed—just as Ezekiel prophesied. The Arabs sealed it in 1517 AD and placed a cemetery in front of it, presumably to prevent the Messiah from entering.
I wonder if Jesus noticed the gate while He prayed in the garden? In just a few hours He would endure the crucifixion rather than be exalted in a coronation. After His crucifixion, His body would lay in the tomb, and his followers would give up hope.
But there was the gate.
The Eastern Gate—still sealed to this day—is a symbol of hope. It is a reminder that even as its sealing was prophesied, so Christ’s return will occur according to prophesy.
The gate is sealed, and the promises of God are sure. We can trust Him.
Earlier posts in this series:
- Do You Want a King?
- The Price of Prayer
- I Am Not Ashamed
- Through His Eyes
- The Place of a Skull
- When You Can Borrow a Tomb
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