This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it. (NRSV)
This verse referred to the city gate of Jerusalem when this psalm was written and used in festivals. By the time of Jesus such festivals had been taking place for hundreds of years. Jesus was going to Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday because it was the Passover festival. Of course unlike any one of the other thousands of pilgrims he was not going to celebrate Passover simply to remember the past. Yes he would join with his disciples in commemorating the mighty act of his Father in delivering the nation from slavery in Egypt. But his celebration with the disciples would be a subversive one. It would echo the Passover but there was to be no ordinary lamb. In the months before, Jesus had realised that he himself was to be the Passover lamb.
Not only was he to be the sacrifice but he knew what his sacrifice would accomplish. As the Lamb of God he would take away the sin of the world. He would open up the gate of the Lord. Through him anyone could acknowledge him and become righteous and in being righteous could enter the gate of the Lord.
- It is because of God’s immense grace that we can walk with him in this life.
- It is because of God’s grace that we know that our journey leads us home to the heavenly city.
- It is because of grace that we can anticipate eternal life with God the Father and his son, the Passover Lamb of God.
Grace is free. Yet grace is not without cost.
- The grace that we experience on our path was costly indeed.
- The Father knew the cost when he sent the Son to become a man.
- Jesus knew the cost as he made that journey to Jerusalem.
- Jesus knew the price as the crowds waved, as the people shouted, as the whole world went after him.
Free grace at such a cost is worth celebrating, it is worth shouting about.
The gracious act of Jesus means that a roughly-made cross is now the gate of the Lord through which the righteous can enter.