O Key of David and scepter of the
House of Israel, You open and no one
Can close, You close and no one can open:
Come and rescue the prisoners who are in darkness
And the shadow of death
A key is a simple thing. It only has two functions. It can lock. And it can unlock. But depending on what is being opened or closed that key can have great power. A bouncer at a club is a sort of a key, he lets some in and keeps others out. At church the other night in Markesan the automatic door lock seemed to be randomly locking certain people out as they tried to open the door. We joked that it was judging some unworthy to enter. The act of locking or unlocking is an act of judging. Therefore it is the act of a king. Of a God. For only God can judge.
Jesus as King and God and Savior is the only one with the key. He is the doorkeeper to the gates of heaven, not St. Peter! He locks or unlocks heaven’s door. He comes to open wide heaven’s gate through the forgiveness of our sins. This is the essence of His Kingdom. That on the basis of who He is and what He has done we are forgiven and set free. The gates of hell are overcome and the gates of heaven are opened. He comes into death’s darkness to burst open the gates and set us prisoners free. “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
This key He has also given to Peter (Matthew 16) and to all the Apostles (Matthew 18) and to all of His believers (John 20). Because He gives us His Word. The Word which creates faith in the forgiveness of sins. The Word which we can give to others to give them the same. The Word which casts out guilt and sin, opens the door of the prison and swings wide heaven’s gates. The Word of Jesus. The Son and Key of David.
O Come Thou Key of David come,
And open wide our heavenly home,
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel shall come to thee O Israel.