Summary: The painting by Holman Hunt shows Jesus outside a door with no handle requesting entry but will he be admitted?

Take a look at this picture. It’s a rather famous painting by an artist whose name was Holman Hunt. The original is hung in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. If you look at it closely there’s something rather odd about it. Can you spot it? It’s unusual because it’s a door with no handle! Now what’s the reason for this?

The artist was painting a scene described in the book of Revelation. It’s Jesus who’s speaking: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me" (3:20). I expect there is a handle, but it’s on the inside! The artist is telling us that although Jesus wants to enter the home, it’s up to the person inside to open the door and let him in. Jesus is standing at the door, not pushing it; speaking to us, not shouting. This is quite remarkable because He’s our Creator and we belong to Him. He’s the builder; He made it. He’s the architect of the house of our life; He designed it.

This is very much the situation in the Easter story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They had a revealing conversation about the crucifixion but they failed to recognise Jesus. When they arrived at their village, we’re told that "Jesus acted as if he was going further." It was a test to see if the disciples had more appetite for the things of God. They did. We’re told, "They urged Jesus strongly, Stay with us ..." That’s the sort of invitation that Jesus can’t resist! "He went in to stay with them" (Luke 24:28,29).

If you want Jesus to be your person Saviour, you have ask him in to your life. Jesus is a real gentleman - he’ll never force his way into someone’s life - he waits for the invitation. Just like in the picture, the handle to door of your life is in your hands. It’s up to you to use it.

The Church of Jesus Christ is a community of people who have fellowship with God but only those who are the redeemed are its members and belong to it. It’s so necessary that we accept Jesus as our personal Saviour and invite Him into our lives. The artist is telling us that although Jesus wants to enter the home, it’s up to the person inside to open the door and let Him in. If we’ve done that by coming to Him in repentance and faith, entry into His Kingdom begins a new relationship that will last for ever, on earth and in heaven.


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