COME WALK THROUGH THE BEAUTIFUL GATE
Today’s readings are Nehemiah 11-12, Psalm 1, and Acts 3. We are reading through the New Living Translation.
Peter says, I’ll give you what I have. (Acts 3:6 NLT). What is it that Peter has, that this man, lame from birth, needs? The lame man expects so little but he’s going to get far more than he ever thought. Luke tells us that Peter shares his faith in the One who forgives sins. Peter demonstrates his faith in the One who sees our inability to walk beyond the Beautiful gate, into God’s life. Over and over the lame man has been placed at the Beautiful Gate, but he is never able to enter beyond, into that temple area – that place where God and Life is. Instead, he sits outside the gate and waits, and begs, and expects so little. And then Peter arrives – but it’s not just Peter who is there, but Christ in Peter. And Jesus, through Peter, sees the man – this man who is about to go beyond the gate Beautiful, and into Life. Peter looks at him and says,
I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” (Acts 3:6 NLT)
We’re told that as Peter helped him up, his muscles in his ankles and his legs were restored and he got up and leapt and danced and sang out praises to God. He went through the gate and into the Temple. He was standing upright – made new. His friends couldn’t get him through the gate. Moses and the Prophets couldn’t either.
Peter seizes this opportunity to speak to the crowd of onlookers. He urges them not to look at him and John. He tells the crowds,
And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? (Acts 3:12 NLT).
He wants them to know that it was done through the power of the resurrected Christ, the Messiah. Jesus is the one that made the lame man walk and He’s the one that takes us beyond the gate Beautiful and into Life. He’s the only one who can do that for all of us who are stuck at the gate. Moses and the Prophets couldn’t do it. They were just pointing to the One who would come – the one who would speak his Life into us. He alone can restore us so that we can walk upright, and enter into the presence of God, leaping, shouting and praising God for the Life he alone gives.
There’s only one Person that can take us beyond the Gate Beautiful and into Life. That is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He comes to each and every one one of us today – to those areas in our life where we fail to stand. He comes and sees us, and speaks his life into us, inviting us to stand up and walk with him into the Temple. His Presence is a place of life, where we are made new.
Let the abiding life of Christ lift you up and take you beyond the gates and into Life.
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