Christ is portrayed here as the keeper of the gate; the One we must pass by to enter into our heavenly rest.
His eyes seem to follow the viewer. His piercing gaze is direct, looking right into our eyes and seeing every nook and cranny of our souls. This is someone we can’t escape or deceive. His frame actually blocks the gateway through which we must pass, so much so that the part of the gate which is visible appears as perhaps merely a window. Only when He steps aside and invites us in will the full picture come into view.
If the viewer looks a bit closer, the Savior’s stern gaze will give way as we notice eyes that are moist and tender, and we discover a hint of a smile upon His face. These subtle signs reveal His true nature and His patient love for those struggling to find and reach the gate. The Keeper’s greatest role is as One who welcomes, encourages, and lights the way. He opens wide the doors to all who knock and truly come unto Him. For He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
Greg Olsen – 1999