Alle- | luia.* Alle- | luia.
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O | ancient doors,*
that the King of glory may come in. Alle- | luia. (Psalm 24:7)
Alleluia! It is a call to praise. Praise the Lord it calls to us. It is not just a shout but an invitation to tell all that the Lord has done for us. This first Sunday of Advent we are called to praise the Lord. Now it tells the gates and the doors of Zion to be lifted up. Why? So that the King fo gloy may come in. Ancient cities had doors and gates that prevented invaders from coming into the city to sack the cities. The call to be lifted up is not to the actual gates but to those who control the gates. Now this verse comes from Psalm 24. What follows this verse?
(Psa 24:8) “Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!” Indeed we might ask who is this King of glory. It is YHWH mighty in battle. Now indeed Jesus in today’s reading looks like a peaceful king coming humbly upon a donkey. And this is true. But he isn’t coming to wage war upon the city. No, he is coming to make his rule known. But he is a king mighty in battle. Jesus comes into Jerusalem before his mighty and fiercest battle. He is about to battle sin, death and the power of devil.
Jesus takes on this battle in the garden of Gethsemane as he prepares for what is to come. He fights the battle while being abused an accosted in Jewish Sanhedrin. Jesus fights the battle while he is in Pilate’s and Herod’s courts. On the cross he fights fiercely as sin, death and the devil take their toll on him and it seems as if they may have won. But on Easter morning, the first day of the week we see that Jesus was victorious. He didn’t fight them with the sword or other battle implements. He fought and won the battle by his innocent suffering and death and by the shedding of his blood.
(Psa 24:10) “Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!” YHWH is the King of Glory. Jesus is YHWH. No one can say Jesus is YHWH except by the Holy Spirit. Now Paul tells us, (1Co 2:8) “None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” And James also says, (Jas 2:1) “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” Jesus is the Lord of hosts, the King of Glory. Jesus is the Lord to whom we hear the shout, “Lift up your heads O Gates and be lifted O doors!” Now it isn’t unto earthly city gates this is proclaimed to but to your hearts. Having heard the Lord Jesus Christ has conquered sin, death and devil on your behalf so that you may receive the forgiveness of sin, eternal life, the Kingdom of God and yes even the glory of God, the call is to open your hearts that the King of Glory, the Lord of Hosts may enter in and sit upon the throne of your hearts. Trust he has done this for you so you may be the temple and palace of your God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let down your defenses and welcome him in.
Gracious God and Father, so soften our hearts and grant us faith that we may welcome our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into our hearts that he may live and reign there and then reigning there conform our will and our lives to his own. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.