|The Sheep Gate at The Temple in Jerusalem|
1st Point: Can you imagine over the years how many sheep were taken through the Sheep Gate of the Temple in Jerusalem? This was the entrance to which sheep were brought to be sacrificed for sins. Considering the years between Moses receiving the Law and Jesus’ death; I’d venture to say that millions were slaughtered as a blood sacrifice for the sins of Israel. The Law to remember and keep the Passover was for God’s chosen people and as I pondered this I also considered what if the Law was given to Moses for all people Jews and Gentiles alike? The total sheep slaughtered, the amount of blood shed and the amount of activity at The Sheep Gate would have been staggering! Man’s sins never cease and therefore the slaughter would have been continuous. God gave Moses the Law that this sacrifice should be made. We know that God’s Law is perfect, good and just. It was not that the sheep were an imperfect sacrifice; the issue is in the fact that man is sinful and imperfect.
Jesus Christ, who is the is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world; was led into Jerusalem for trial by the Sheep Gate. The gate through which the lambs of the Passover and the sheep that were sacrificed were taken… so also our Lord was taken. Jesus was the perfect man and the perfect sacrifice for imperfect mankind. So Perfect was our Lord that His sacrificial death was the atonement for ALL sin. He died once and He died for ALL of mankind. The greatest distinction between the sacrifice of the sheep& lambs and the Lamb of God is this: The Sheep Gate had no exit and no sheep or lamb ever came out alive; BUT The Lamb of God destroyed death and the grave; He is risen and He lives!
2nd Point: Jesus told His disciples that He is the Sheep’s Gate. Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the Gate for the sheep.” (John 10:7) Jesus was not speaking in regard to the Temple Sheep Gate; in this respect He spoke of a common practice among the shepherds. When the sheep were out in the pasture at night they were corralled in a pen made up of rocks with an opening that the sheep could stray and be lost or wolves could enter and attack. Because the opening was so accessible the shepherds would place themselves at the entry way; thereby they became the gate to protect and secure the sheep. Hence it is with our Lord He is the Gate. John 10:9 “I am the Gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.”
Jesus is The Gate for the Sheep!
“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the Gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The Watchman opens the Gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them. Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the Gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. ~ John 10:1-14
These 14 verses also speak of pastors and church leaders. Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit who is the Watchman that opens the Gate for the under-shepherds or the Pastors and leaders. When the Lord spoke of those who came before Him; He’s speaking of the high priests and temple leaders. (God’s prophets excluded). “What sorrow awaits the leaders of my people–the shepherds of my sheep–for they have destroyed and scattered the very ones they were expected to care for,” says the LORD. ~ Jeremiah 23:1 Jesus described them as hired-hands. He was explicit that the under-shepherd or pastors that would come after Him could only go through the Gate (Jesus), opened and invited by the Watchman (The Holy Spirit) and given access then to the sheep (the Church).
Jesus was actually describing the church leaders of the day as well as many that we have seen encountered or heard of in these latter days. They are those who seek the material things of the world; power, wealth, status, material goods and high living. Robbing the Church and abusing the sheep is how our Lord describes them. He speaks also that the good shepherd is called to minister to the sheep and is appointed by Him through the Holy Spirit.
- He is The Way by which they enter.
- He is the Truth that the sheep hear when the good under-shepherd speaks.
- He is the Light of the Lamp which the under-shepherd shines to guide the flock.
- He is the Good Shepherd who gave His life for the flock
Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!