The Golden Gate in Jerusalem is also known in Hebrew as Sha’ar HaRachamim, the Mercy Gate. It was the eastern gate of the Second Temple and faces towards the Mount of Olives. In Jewish tradition this was the gate where the scapegoat left the Temple on Yom Kippur with the sins of the people on his head.
The Golden Gate is also known as the gate of the Messiah because according to prophecy the “anointed one” (Messiah) will enter Jerusalem through this gate on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). This prophecy was beautifully fulfilled by Yeshua-Jesus about 2000 years ago, when He rode on a donkey from the Mount of Olives to the Temple in Jerusalem (Mark 11:11). Incredibly, this happened on the 10th of the Hebrew month of Nisan, the day the lambs for the Passover sacrifice entered the Temple.
According to another Jewish tradition, the Shekhinah (Divine Presence) used to appear through the eastern Gate, and will appear again when the Anointed One (Messiah) comes (Ezekiel 44:1–3). Many Jews still believe that when Messiah comes He will open this gate and the Glory of God will come to Jerusalem. Most of the Jews want to be buried on the Mount of Olives because it sits across from the Temple Mount. They believe that when Messiah comes they will be one of the first people resurrected as the Messiah enters in through the Golden Gate and ushers in the Messianic Kingdom. However, they do not know that He already came once and He will also return (Zech. 14:4; Rev. 19:14). According to Acts 1:11 Jesus will return the same way that He came on the Mount of Olives and then go through the Golden gate to reign in His kingdom. God’s Glory will surely fill Jerusalem and the world.
Today the gate has been closed up and a Muslim graveyard has been placed in front of it. The gate was closed by Muslims in 810 AD, reopened by the crusaders and closed again by Saladin in 1187 AD and by Sultan Suleiman in 1541 AD. It is said that they closed the gate because they had heard about the prophecy that the Messiah would come through this gate to save His people. So the Muslims tried to stop the coming of the Messiah by intentionally putting a graveyard in front of it. In this way they thought they could prevent Elijah from entering through it to announce the Messiah. Elijah was a priest and priests were not allowed to walk over foreign graveyards. Little did they know, that the Messiah had already come once and He had defeated death completely! Death was defeated when Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day. No graveyard will stop the Messiah Yeshua from saving His people. And NOTHING can stop the Glory of God from coming into Jerusalem.
The Spiritual Gate
The mystery of the Golden Gate is even more amazing because it is not just a physical gate to the temple, but it also represents a spiritual gate. When Jesus came the first time, He instigated the New Covenant and the Holy Spirit came and dwelled among us. Our bodies became the temples of the Holy Spirit and the gate to our temple is our heart. If the Golden Gate represents the main gateway into the temple, then this gate is a beautiful symbol of the gate to our heart! It is a physical representation of the door to our hearts, and Jesus is knocking to be let in. When we open our heart to Him, the King of Glory comes in and He will be dine with us. God’s peace comes within us.
Behold! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me.Revelation 3:20
But spiritual doors are gates that we can open for the Glory of God or for the darkness. In the spirit realm every gate needs permission for someone to enter. God has given us free will to choose to whom we will open the door to our heart. The entrance to the gateway of our heart is always through permission. Jesus knocks gently and asks to be let in with love. However, the enemy, the devil, also tries to gain entrance and He does not play fair. He tempts us and deceives us in order to get permission to enter our temple. Therefore we must be vigilant to whom we give permission to come into our heart.
The Golden Gate is also a beautiful reminder of the Exodus story and how God saved us, out of physical Egypt and also out of the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light. In the Exodus story we read that when the tenth plague passed by, the Israelites had to stay inside their houses. If they had placed the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their house then death passed them by (Exodus 12:13-28). When the Messiah came to Jerusalem on Passover, He came as lamb of God, and gave his life to pay for our sins so spiritual death could pass us by. When we accept Him as our Lord and Savior the blood of the lamb comes on the doorposts of our heart and we are saved. His blood protects us and cleanses us and it also ushers in the Glory of God! The King of Glory comes and resides with us.
It is awe-inspiring to stand at the bottom of the Golden Gate knowing what happened there and what will happen there in the future and what it means spiritually for everyone. Interestingly, on a recent visit to the gate we noticed that there was a red cloth hanging from the side of the gate! It was draped over an iron installation. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The red cloth reminded me of the blood of the Lamb on the doorposts of our heart. May the blood of the Messiah protect the gates of Jerusalem, cleanse it and usher in the Glory!
One day soon, all Israel will be calling to Yeshua “Baruch ha Ba Bshem Adonai!” “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” In Hebrew it is a calling to “Open the Gates!”. They will be calling to him, saying that He is welcome to come in. And when they do, Yeshua will come with all His Glory. He will tear down every stone and every grave that the enemy has placed to block the door. His glory will enter and fill the temple, both physically and spiritually. May His Glory come to Jerusalem soon and fill all our temples all over the world and bring salvation for all.
You can also open the gate of your heart by asking Jesus to come in. Call out to Him and let Him know that He is welcome to come into your heart. He will come to you and tear down all the rocks, graves and blockages of your life. He will enter with His Glory and give you His true peace and joy. To invite Him, click here for a special prayer.