Exploring The Gates (1)

Suggested reading: Nehemiah chapter 3 verses 1-32

I invite you to join me on a journey around a city that has a central place in the Bible, i.e. the city of JERUSALEM. In particular, we will focus on the twelve gates in the city wall and learn important spiritual lessons from them. They teach us about God’s Plan of salvation for mankind.
We are introduced to them in the Old Testament book of NEHEMIAH, chapter 3.

In order to view God’s Plan correctly, we must travel in an anti-clockwise direction around the city. We start in the North East corner of the city with the SHEEP GATE. It was the Gate through which sheep and other animals were taken for sacrifice in the nearby Temple. It points us to Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was ‘led as a lamb to the slaughter’, Isaiah chapter 53 verse 7 and, as the Good Shepherd, ‘gave His life for the sheep’, John chapter 10 verse 11. If we wish to experience God’s salvation for sinners, we must begin our spiritual journey at the SHEEP GATE. One hymn writer reminds us that, ’It is at Calvary’s cross, where you begin, when you come as a sinner to Jesus’.

The second gate we reach is the FISH GATE, verse 3. It was through this gate that the merchants brought their fish for sale in the market. Jesus called Simon and Andrew, two fishermen, to follow Him, with the words, ‘Follow Me and I will make you become fishers of men’, Mark chapter 1 verse 17. The FISH GATE, therefore, reminds those of us who are Christians that we have a responsibility to be ‘fishers of men’ and to tell others of God’s wonderful Plan of salvation for sinners!