Red Letter Day 23: Battling at the Gates of Hell
2015 Lent Blog
Thursday March 12
“Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.'”
Jesus spoke these words in response to the question he posed to his disciples, who is he? Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This confession of faith is the foundation and message of the church. Jesus is not only the promised one from God, he is even more. He is the Son of God, and I like how Peter calls him the Living God. Jesus teaches two things about faith here. First it comes from God. Jesus in the Gospel of John talks about how the Holy Spirit creates faith in chapters 14-16. He reminds us of that in these two verses also. Faith comes as a revelation and by the power of God.
Secondly, faith and the Church are pictured here battling at the gates of Hades or Hell. Many ancient battles took place at the gates of a city which was the weak link in comparison with the city walls. I love how Jesus sees the church battling at the gates of hell. The church is meant to fight and overcome these gates. Our struggle is when we as the church retreat within our walls and fail to bring the Gospel of Jesus to the world, or even more the gates of Hell. Remember it is the power of revelation of God that makes the impossible happen.
In Christ’s Service,