Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Ezekiel 44:1-3 1
1 Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut. 2 The LORD said to me, “This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered through it. 3 The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the LORD. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way.”

Drawing233Background

Ezekiel means ‘God gives strength. He was born in the year 627 BC and was a priest, the son of Buzi the priest. Exekiel belonged to the family of Zadok, who was a famous priest. Ezekiel went into exile at the same time as King Jehoiachin in the year 597 BC and other exiles at the river called Chebar. His home was in Tel-Abib.

All we know about Ezekiel comes from this book. It is full of his personal experiences:

  • Ezekiel shut himself in his home and bound himself. The Lord made him dumb – Ezekiel 3:24-26.
  • God told Ezekiel to lie on his right side and then on his left side for 430 days – Ezekiel 4:4-8.
  • God put a limit on Ezekiel’s food and drink during that period. And Ezekiel obeyed – Ezekiel 4:12.
  • Ezekiel had to shave his head and his beard – Ezekiel 5:1.
  • God did not permit Ezekiel to be sad at the death of his wife – Ezekiel 24:15-24.
  • Ezekiel lost his speech – Ezekiel 24:27.

God intended Ezekiel to give a message to Israel by means of his personal experiences in his life. He lived at the same time as Jeremiah the prophet but he does not mention Jeremiah. Ezekiel’s first prophecy was in the year 593 BC and he continued to prophesy for about 20 years with his last message in the year 571 BC.

The last part of the book (chapters 40-48) describes the future temple and how the tribes of Israel will divide the country.

Biblical Truth 2

The East Gate was a special gate. The Lord had entered the temple by this gate. Only the prince could go into this gate. There he could eat bread in front of the Lord.

The prince will be the leader of the people. He will not be Christ because the prince needs to make a sacrifice because of his own sins (45:22). Christ does not need such a sacrifice because he has no sin. Unlike Christ, the prince has natural children (46:16). He will not be a priest but Christ will be the chief priest. Christ will be the king. So, this man will lead the people as Christ orders him. Today, however, we can see the significance of the prophecy. Christ, on Palm Sunday, road into the city through the East Gate.

The prince would be from the family of David. He will be a man who will be like David. The prince will love the Lord as David did. And he will serve the Lord as David did. God promised David that his family would rule his people (see 2 Samuel 7:16).

Items for Discussion

  • What are the places that we restrict for special people today?
  • What are the practical and ceremonial reasons for restricting access to an area in our society?
  • The metaphor of a gate is used much in Scripture. Why is it so appropriate when we consider our faith walk?
  • What symbolism might we assign to the fact that it was the “Gate?” That it faced “East?”
  • The “Prince” was a worldly leader of the people—what, if any, are the implications and/or commands that our leaders should take from the verses above?

 

John 10:7-10
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Background

The Apostle John wanted his readers to believe ‘that Jesus is the “Messiah, God’s Son.” (John 20:31). While Matthew, Mark and Luke recorded many miracles in their Gospels, John chose to record only seven, calling them signs that Jesus is God’s Son. John also emphasized that Jesus was human. He recorded many human traits:

  • Jesus was tired (John 4:6)
  • Jesus needed food (John 4:31)
  • Jesus cried when his friend Lazarus died (John 11:35)
  • Jesus became angry with the people conducting business in the Temple (John 2:15)
  • Jesus was *thirsty (John 19:28)

John was emphasizing that Jesus was not half human and half God, He was completely human and completely God, too. John and the other disciples had lived with Jesus for about three years. John knew that Jesus was a real man. Also John had seen the miracles that Jesus did. John watched Jesus die on a cross. And John had also seen Jesus become alive again. John knew that Jesus had defeated death. And John had seen Jesus rise up to heaven.

Bible Truth 3

Jesus said, “I am like the gate for the sheep.” This was because the shepherd was the means by which the sheep could enter the sheepfold, the place of safety and sanctuary. The point here is that Jesus is the only ways by which people can come to God. Jesus is the only way to receive salvation and to be safe from the consequences of sin.

When worldly leaders pretend to know other ways to come to God they are like thieves, stealing from us our opportunity for spending eternity with God.

Jesus gives life to us and that new life is immediate. This new life makes us content inside our minds, even when life is difficult. Think of Satan as a thief. Satan’s purpose is to spoil and to ruin lives through deception. But when we believe in Jesus, we are safe, just like the sheep in their sheepfold. Satan can never take away the eternal life that Jesus gives to us unless we let him because the power of salvation was given to Jesus by God.

Items for Discussion

  • Why is it important to understand that we can go through the “Gate” now in this world and do not have to wait until we die?”
  • What are the ways that a relationship with our Christ protects us, becomes our “Sheepfold?
  • How can you tell when you are being deceived—when you are not being shown the truth?
  • What significant to you draw from the fact that Jesus says you can come both in and out of the gate?

Discussion Challenge

  • What are the ways we can build a relationship with Christ?
Share