Have you ever considered what role doors play in your life? I started thinking about it, and my mind led me several places. I thought about open doors and closed doors. I considered doors that are locked, doors that are hard to open and doors that open automatically. I thought about the various doors I walk through in a typical week and how each door leads to an opportunity or choices.
I walked through the door of my hair salon on Friday, and because I did, I was able to get a haircut and some fresh color. I walked through the doors of hospitals this past week, and because I did, I was able to pray with people before surgery and to pray with someone from the community whose mother was imminently passing. Everything I was able to accomplish this week required me walking through some doorway whether at a supermarket or bank, house or school. Getting in through the door was the only way I was going to be able to encounter or impact what was behind the door.
I know some people who pay a lot of attention to doors. In fact, when they go someplace new the first thing they want to identify is where all of the exits are located! They want to know which door is the closest in case they need to make a fast getaway.
I remember a time when I walked through a wrong door! It was beyond awkward. I was in seminary, a place where girls were in the minority, and I was “following the crowd” heading to the Chapel for service. Not a wise decision to follow the crowd when you are in the minority. I walked through a doorway I thought was the doorway to the stairs and ended up (you guessed it) right in the men’s restroom! It was my first week of seminary! It’s a wonder I didn’t get kicked out!
It is obvious, but the doors you choose to walk through will determine where you will end up. The pre-alcoholic can’t imagine how walking through the door of the bar will impact his or her life forever. The woman scheduled to have an abortion can’t know how post-traumatic stress and shame will nip at her heels after she walks into the door of the abortion clinic. Students, the car doors you open and choose to be transported in can determine a whole lot about your health and well-being and your reputation. Choosing what doors to walk through and what doors to avoid is certainly an important and ultimately life-defining decision.
When you walked through these doors this morning, you had expectations. Hopefully there was a greeting just beyond the doors to the lobby. When you came into the sanctuary doors, you had ideas about what you would encounter and expectations about what you hoped to experience.
Doors provide protection. They create barriers and boundaries which we expect people will respect. Behind some doors we feel safe. Behind others we may feel threatened or anxious. Doors can separate us from uncomfortable, chaotic and unpleasant experiences. If you have ever been really sick and headed to Urgent Care or the ER perhaps you anticipated just making it to the door of the facility. You knew that once you got through the door your circumstances were about to change for the better, and once inside you were able to breathe a sigh of relief. Doors can lead to healing and relief or disaster and destruction. Yes, choosing the right door is very important.
Jesus said of Himself in John 10:9, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (NKJV)
Jesus called Himself the door. What can we know and experience by walking through Jesus, the door, and where will it take us?
Jesus is the Door. Let’s look briefly at this verse in its context. Turn to John 10:
John 10:9-15 (NKJV) 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
Someone commented when they toured our new home how nice our six paneled doors were. I had never even thought about it or taken time to notice. A door was just a door to me until that moment.
I did a Google search of different kinds of doors. I learned there are architect-designed doors, cross-corridor doors, high abuse doors, office doors, retrofit doors, quick release doors, French doors, slab doors, pre-hung doors, glass doors, fire resistant doors, storm doors, sliding doors, bi folding doors, access doors, and pocket doors just to name a few. There are different doors because doors have different purposes. Did you know before you came today that doors have multiple purposes? Some are for protection. Some have weather-related functions. Some have utility purposes. Some are simply for fashionable purposes. What a door is made of is really important.
When it came to a shepherd and his sheep in ancient times, the door of the sheep pen was very important. It wasn’t a door made of wood, stones, or sticks. It was the shepherd himself. He was the door. Seriously. The shepherd put his body in the doorway of the sheep pen. He was the way in and the way out. He was the protection for the sheep as dangerous animals roamed the countryside. He was willing to do whatever it took to protect the sheep, and to get to them, animals and other people had to go through the shepherd himself. The safety and security of the sheep depended on the strength and the ability of the shepherd. Each shepherd was different. Like each door is made of something different, each ancient shepherd was made of different stuff.
Jesus said He was THE Door! Just what was He made of? How do we know if we are secure inside Him?
Jesus made some pretty exclusive claims. Saying you were “The” Door was a pretty big claim. No other way to heaven, but through Jesus. Period. That sounds narrow. That sounds exclusive and limited. Perhaps, but not true because any sheep, even fluffy ones like me, can fit through this Door because of God’s grace! We don’t have to do anything to qualify to enter through this door or to fit through this door because God has made a way for all to enter who desire salvation and heaven. It’s just that for salvation and heaven, there is only ONE door. His name is Jesus.
Now, what was Jesus, the Door, made of?
Jesus demonstrated He is a DEFENDING DOOR and He is always in control.
In John 18 the whole troop of soldiers who came to arrest Jesus were totally shocked that He willingly came to present Himself to them as they entered the garden. Jesus knew why they had come to the garden. He knew Judas had led them there. He walked to the garden entrance and basically said to the soldiers in John 18:4, “How may I help you?” “I know you have come for Me, and here I am. Let’s do this!” The soldiers said in verse 5, “We’re looking for Jesus.” When Jesus replied, “I am he,” can you believe they all fell down? It was like dominoes being tapped over. There was no force. He didn’t shout it at them. Jesus never drew a weapon that caused them to fear. It was just overwhelming to these soldiers that Jesus would come to them and deliver Himself into their hands. They didn’t “capture” Jesus. He presented Himself for arrest! He was absolutely in control of all that was happening.
As He said about Himself in John 18, “No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Back to John 18. Look at verse 7. With the soldiers still on the ground, Jesus asked them again, “Who is it you want?” They replied, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus told them again, “I am he.” Then he went on into shepherd mode, protecting His sheep, protecting His disciples, and He told the soldiers to go ahead and take Him, but not to mess with His disciples. And guess what? They listened to Him. Jesus had protected His disciples this far, and in verse 9, He basically said, “I’m not about to stop protecting them now.”
Well, Peter being Peter, took advantage of the situation with the soldiers on the ground, and went all “Barney Fife” on them and cut off the right ear of Malchus, the High Priest’s servant. Seriously? Jesus was in control, and Peter tried to take control. Oh, yeah Peter could act all rough and tough while the soldiers were on their backsides! Honestly. Can you picture it?
Jesus took control once again as we read in Luke’s Gospel that Jesus healed Malchus’s ear. What was Jesus protecting with this move? He was protecting the will of God. He knew He was supposed to voluntarily die on a cross. No protest. No force. No fight. He was simply supposed to, by God’s design, surrender to death.
He made Peter put away His Sword and then He went with the soldiers.
Jesus demonstrated He is a DURABLE DOOR and is able to handle the worst kind of rejection.
After just having been betrayed by Judas in the Garden, Jesus was then betrayed by the rest of the disciples, including Peter, the Sword Happy man who had vowed to go with Jesus to the death. He denied he ever knew Jesus and distanced himself from Jesus as much as was possible.
You know it wasn’t just soldiers who came to arrest Him in the Garden. They were accompanied by the chief priests and Pharisees. They wanted a front row seat to the kangaroo trial and execution of Jesus. All kinds of lies had been spread about Him by these people, the religious leaders. Jesus was rejected by those should have known better.
John 18:35 tells us Jesus was also rejected by the Jewish people in general. The religious leaders twisted Jesus’ words and actions and used their influence to manipulate the thinking of their people. Jesus came to bring them life, but ultimately they demanded His death.
Jesus never yelled back or tried to prove them all wrong. He simply went along with what was taking place without hatred or malice in His heart. He could take rejection you and I could never imagine.
Jesus demonstrated He is an INDESTRUCTIBLE DOOR and is able to handle the worst kind of torture.
We can’t fathom from the one-liners in Scripture how much physical torture Jesus really endured. Plain and simple, Jesus was abused. He was abused emotionally. He was abused physically. No-one has ever been more debased and exposed than Jesus. No-one.
Yet Jesus never spoke out what His mind and flesh would want to say, but only what the Father instructed Him to say. When God the Father told Him to “plead the fifth” and say nothing, He followed through with that as well. Oh, silence is golden sometimes! Even Pilate couldn’t understand why Jesus wouldn’t speak to him (John 19:10). I mean, Jesus was on the chopping block! Why wasn’t He doing some fast talking to try to talk His way out of execution? Because part of the plan involved silence! It had been prophesied that Jesus would be as a lamb led to the slaughter and that He wouldn’t open His mouth (Is. 53:7). Jesus wasn’t going to get in the way of the Father’s will with defensive comments and angry words. He was so tough, He didn’t even have to try to get in a jab or have the last word throughout the court proceedings though He eventually did have the final word!
Beatings, a crown of thorns pressed into His skull, nails through His feet and hands, hanging naked, being mocked, and spat upon and He never “said a mumblin’ word.” You know how some people will even mumble under their breath trying to have the last word or fight back? Jesus didn’t even mutter. What an indestructible Door! What nerves of steel. What unflinching resolved!
I hear the Marines are tough, but you can’t teach that kind of mental and physical tenacity! He even had the fortitude in the middle of the horrific execution to muster up the breath to ask John to take care of His mom and for His mom to accept John as a son. Jesus’ spirit couldn’t be broken! His will couldn’t be broken. He was still exercising control and demonstrating strength no one had ever seen before! Why else would the Roman soldier standing next to the cross say, “Surely Jesus was the Son of God!” in Matthew 27? He had never seen anything like it.
Jesus demonstrated He is the DOOR OF DELIVERANCE and He is an OPEN DOOR.
From the cross, Jesus forgave. From the cross, Jesus prayed for us. It didn’t matter what people had done to Him. It was all about what He had come to do for them. John 3:16 tells us that because God loved the entire world, He gave Jesus to die on a cross to pay the price of every sin every person had ever or would ever commit, and anyone who calls on the name of the Lord can be saved (Romans 10:13). Anyone who wants to come through the door can come! Jesus is an open door!
One of the most beautiful aspects of Scripture is the way every “I” is dotted and every “T” is crossed. There are so many details within details that reveal Jesus is the Door! Let me show you something in the OT before we uncover it here in John. Turn to
Exodus 12:1-7: 1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.
Skip to verse 21:
Exodus 12:21-23: 21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of (WHAT?) hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood (WHERE?) on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. 23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.
Now listen. God was specific with the Israelites. There was one way they were going to make it out of Egypt with their firstborn still alive. It was going to involve the blood of a lamb, a doorway, and some hyssop. God specifically said, “Use a hyssop branch” for this deliverance action. Remember, it was deliverance from captivity and deliverance from death!
Hold that thought. Hyssop and blood on a doorway. Turn back to John 19:28-29. 28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.
Why a hyssop branch? Remember, Jesus was crucified on the day of the Passover celebration, the day the Jews would remember the blood on the doorposts by using a hyssop branch! Jesus, the DOOR, hung there in blood as a hyssop branch was applied to Jesus’ mouth.
At 3:00 p.m. Jesus was being crucified. He didn’t die and then hang his head as a person who has died will do. No, He did have the last word! He declared, “It is finished,” and then, He took a bow because this was His final act. Yes, then He bowed His head, and THEN, He died! At that same moment, what was going on in the Temple? The priest was blowing the shofar, the ram’s horn, as the lamb in the temple was sacrificed! Jesus, the Door, the lamb, in blood and with hyssop in the picture, proved He was the DOOR of DELIVERANCE. He was the Passover Lamb!
Something happened in the temple that was beyond comprehension. A thick veil, three inches thick and several stories high, tore from top to bottom. It was that which separated the people from the presence of God! Jesus, the DOOR, through His death on the cross opened the doorway to God forever for all who would put their trust in Him!
You want to know what our DOOR, Jesus is made of? He is made of such tenacity, strength, and power that not even death can take Him down! Scripture says on the third day He rose from the dead! He is the DOOR to everlasting life! Have you walked through the DOOR to salvation this morning?
Remember I said earlier that what door you walk through will determine where you will end up. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,” the Door (John 14:6). If you want to get to eternal life, you have to walk through Jesus. But the good news is that behind that Door, there is safety and peace. You won’t have to look over your shoulder once you enter there. You won’t have to look for a way out. Because anyone or anything that wants to take you down or out has to go through Jesus first!
Jesus, is THE Blood-stained door, the only way to eternal life. He has proven He is durable. He is proven He can protect us. Will you come through the DOOR this morning?
Through the Door, through Your blood, Lord we enter.
Through the Door, through Your blood, Lord we come.
Trusting in You, our Redeemer King,
Lord, we come through the Door of Your blood!