Summary: Their order and position is very specific and give us insight into the journey that God takes each of His children on.
It’s about time, isn’t it?
Pastor Allan Kircher
Shell Point Baptist Church
14 April, 2013
The work of the church won’t just happen. It takes all of us doing what God would have us to do.
• God promised Israel/they obey Him/He would always protect/prosper them.
• After David came Solomon/then/string mostly bad kings
• Not seeking God or serving God.
• After warning/warning His people thru prophets God turned Israel over to the enemy.
• Jews were scattered throughout the kingdom
• But a small remnant lived in broken-down Jerusalem.
Nehemiah/cupbearer/Persian King Artaxerxes.
He went/King, told him about the plight of his people in Jerusalem and asked permission to go back and rebuild the wall.
The King agrees and sends Nehemiah back to Jerusalem.
• Nehemiah returns/Jerusalem chap 2
• Surveys/damage/rallies the exiles to help rebuild the wall around the city.
• There were some locals (some Persian and some Jewish) who weren’t on board.
They ridiculed Nehemiah and tried to stop the progress at every turn, but Nehemiah was stubborn and single-minded.
• This isn’t the most exciting chapter in the Bible.
• Nobody/swallowed/fish/Nobody walks/fiery furnace.
• Nobody raises the dead.
• But there are lessons here for the church.
The walls of Jerusalem stood for something.
Walls/kept out bad….gates let good in.
They were more than just protection.
They stood for the glory of God.
Unbelievers of that day looked at the broken down walls and would mock believers.
In chapter 3 the actual construction begins.
Now here's/spiritual application/I’ll call it Spiritual Illumination.
• So what can we take from a chapter such as this?
• Well, quite a lot actually.
If we look at these gates
• Positions in the wall of the city
• order which they were rebuilt/purpose of each gate
I believe each of the gates speak of different experiences in our Christian walk that each of us will face.
Their order and position is very specific and give us insight into the journey that God takes each of His children on.
• The wall had 12 gates spaced around the city.
• 10 of them are mentioned in our text.
• Names have deep spiritual meaning.
• We won't overly spiritualize here other than to look at the literal truths that pop right off the page
• Placed there by God I believe.
1. The sheep gate.
Thru/gate they would bring/sacrificial animals/laid/altar/temple.
• The priests would use this gate.
• Only gate that was 'sanctified.
• This gate reminds us of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
• It all begins and ends with Christ
• Alpha/Omega/the beginning/end
• The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world
• Who will bear His scars for eternity future in heaven.
• This gate Jesus carried cross, what an ultimate sacrifice!
Jesus/special Lamb. w/o flaw/blemish.
• Jesus was a silent Lamb.
• Is. 53 says he would open not His mouth in self-defense.
• Matthew 27:12-14 [Pilate]……
• Luke 23:9-10 [Herod]
Why did it have to be this way?
• Any of us would have presented our defense.
• Especially since they had it all wrong.
• Jesus remained silent in order to FULLY bear our shame.
Jesus not only took the punishment of our sins, but also the shame and reproach that goes with them.
• Was there guilt in Him? Yes. Ours!
• He suffered our shame in silence.
Christian man who worked in a slaughterhouse told of his experiences as the one who had to put a bullet into the head of the cattle as they came to his station. He said they came to him so noisily, mooing, snorting, and loudly complaining about their captivity, and he never had a problem w/ his job of silencing those brute, noisy beasts. Then one day they brought in a truckload of lambs and asked him to slaughter them. He said they brought him the first one who stood there and looked at him with big eyes. He was instructed to slit the throats of these lambs rather than shoot them. It felt different than before, but reluctantly he reached down and slit its throat, and it just looked at him as it began to bleed to death. It laid its head on his arm and began to lick the blood off of it. He said, "I was done. I laid down my knife and never went back." He said it reminded him so eerily of that verse which said of Jesus, "He stood silent before His accusers."
• No wonder the sheep gate is mentioned first.
• Jesus came/first time/silent lamb to the slaughter,
• But He's coming back as the Lion of the tribe of Judah!
He came/first time
• For a tree, but next time for a throne!