In Genesis 22, after the Lord proved Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice the life of his only son, God spoke a promise to Abraham saying, “Your seed shall possess the gate of your enemies.” In Genesis 24, as Rebekah was preparing to leave home in order to be married to Abraham’s only son, her family blessed her saying, “May your descendants possess the gate of those who hate them.”
In antiquity, possessing the gates of one’s enemies was a sure means to peace and tranquility in life. In those days, cities were usually fortified, with its gates controlling entry and exit. Therefore, whoever controlled the gates, controlled the city. If you controlled the gates of your enemies, then their destiny was in your hands.
Up until the time of Jesus Christ, Satan controlled the gates of death. All who passed through those gates belonged to him. Jesus, before His suffering and crucifixion in Jerusalem, promised that these gates would not prevail over the following that He was building (“gates of Hades” was another name for “gates of death”). Indeed, three days after Jesus died, He rose from the dead, breaking through those gates. He was the first to have ever done so. (His friend Lazarus had only been given a temporary reprieve from death.) Jesus triumphed over death, for He went on to ascend into heaven. Micah in 2:13 had prophesied that “the Breaker” would go through the gate, and before the rest. Jesus was “the Breaker.” Paul confirmed in 1 Corinthians 15 that there was an order to the resurrection, with Christ being first, and the rest to follow later.
In the coming of the kingdom, which occurred according to the biblical timetable around the late 1st Century A.D., the gates of death were, in effect, moved, such that death would no longer lead below to Hades but rather above to heaven. Indeed, Abraham’s seed possesses the gates of His enemies – in a way far more grand, glorious, and eternal than anyone on earth had ever imagined! Death is now merely a doorway into a greater life in heaven.
See also Everyone Is Going to Heaven.
The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.