Lift up your heads, O ye gates; And be ye lift, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle. (Psalm 24:7–8, KJV)
Envision yourself before Jerusalem’s ancient gates, steeped in centuries of history and prophecy. This scene from Psalm 24:7–8 invites us to delve into a fascinating spiritual truth about these gates that lift up their heads.
The psalm intertwines mystery and majesty, prompting us to ponder the significance of these gates. Scholars suggest two contexts: a worship procession, like David bringing the Ark to the Temple, or Israel’s army returning with the Ark to Jerusalem. With its military overtones, the latter seems more apt given the portrayal of God as “mighty in battle”.
But who is this “King of Glory”? Verse 10 clarifies the “LORD of hosts,” expressing God’s supreme reign. The gates symbolize more than mere physical barriers; they represent access to the Lord’s dwelling place. Their personification, with heads to lift, uses an Old Testament idiom for confidence and boldness (Judge 8:28, Ps. 83:2). Picture a victorious parade, with priests carrying the Ark, addressing the city’s gates as animate beings, beckoning the triumphant Lord to enter.
In the New Testament, this imagery resonates deeply. As noted in the ESV Bible notes, heaven opens to welcome Christ upon His ascension after crushing sin, death, and the devil. As the ancient gates received the victorious Lord, heaven’s gates ushered in the ascended Christ. This triumphal entry mirrors the Temple veil’ being torn from top to bottom, opening the ancient barriers that have separated humanity from God’s presence.
Through Christ’s triumph, the ancient heavenly gate, shut since Adam’s fall, has been flung open. The Lion of Judah has prevailed and earned the rights and privileges of entering into heaven itself as our King and Priest, paving our way.
Consider the gates in the Psalm. In your spiritual walk, what do they represent?
Apply the Word
The gates are open, Christ has entered, and our path is clear. Just as He conquered and entered, we, too, can overcome and follow His lead. Embrace His empowering strength.
Ask for the Lord’s strength to mirror Christ’s victory, to pass through the open gates, treading in the footsteps of our victorious King.
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