In considering this particular statement by our Lord Jesus to His disciples, we should reflect for a moment on the basic purpose of a door. A door has a two-fold function – to keep out unwanted people or things, and to provide security for those within. Any door guards the way of access to our egress from the enclosure, building, or room within it.
Before we look at the declaration recorded in John’s Gospel, however, let us go back to the first mention of a door noted in Genesis 6. 16. Clearly, every living thing entered into the ark by this way, as Noah was commanded, vv. 19 , 20. But let us also notice the very important statement that is given twice in these two verses - ‘to keep them alive’. Thus we learn that life was preserved to all that entered by that door. And let us remember also that it was the Lord Himself who shut Noah in, Gen. 7. 16.
Turning now to Exodus 12, we find mention of another door that had immense significance. When the destroying angel passed through the land of Egypt that night, he passed over all those houses where there had been the blood of sacrifice applied, vv. 7, 22, 23. Again, we find that life was preserved to all those inside the door and under the cover of the blood of the Passover lamb.
From the latter part of the Book of Exodus onwards through most of Leviticus, there is frequent mention of the ‘door of the tabernacle’, more than 50 times in all. This is surely an important door, because we learn from so many of these references that this was the only way by which the people could come near to the Lord. Any offering or sacrifice could be brought only through this way. And here again we see the basic principle of life being preserved. It is God’s lasting judgment that, ‘the soul that sinneth, it shall die’, Ezek. 18. 4, but by bringing a sacrifice of a sin or trespass offering to that door, the life of that person was preserved. The significance of the door is becoming obvious.
In Deuteronomy 11 we find another mention of a door. The people were to write the words of the Lord upon the door posts of their houses, that their days might be multiplied, vv. 20, 21, clearly a reference to a long and full life before the Lord. Every time anyone entered that door they would be reminded of the word of the Lord. Again we see that the door is associated with vibrant life, described here as ‘days of heaven upon the earth’.
But there is another door that would now engage our attention, mentioned in Isaiah 6. 4. Such is the immense impression of the holiness of the Lord here that even the door posts are moved at the voice of the One who cries out. Isaiah in seeing this realizes his hopeless position and he cries, ‘Woe is me’! The Hebrew word here means literally to perish or be destroyed. In practical terms he sees himself as dead. But his sin is purged, and he lives, v. 7.
From Proverbs 18. 10 we learn that ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe’. The righteous can enter the tower only through the door, but once he is inside his life is preserved.
Turning now to Mark’s Gospel we read that the door of the sepulchre where the Lord was laid was covered by a ‘very great’ stone, 16. 4. He who went into death and was covered by this door subsequently came out, having ‘abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light’, 2 Tim. 1. 10. How tremendously important this door is then by reason of the fact that it was opened at that particular time, for by our Lord’s death and resurrection we have life through believing.
Next, in Revelation 4. 1, 2, John looks through an opened door and sees the One who sat upon the throne, the One who liveth for ever and ever, vv. 9, 10. He is the only One who could open that door, and to Him all praise is given. Fittingly, the fact of His eternal being is enshrined in the words spoken of Him, ‘which was, and is, and is to come’, v. 8.
I am the Door
Thus we turn to John 10. 7, 9, where our blessed Lord declares Himself to be THE DOOR, and then adds that all who enter in through Him shall be saved, and thus receive eternal life, the freedom to go in and out, and find pasture to sustain that life. Later He declares that He gives to all His sheep who enter in through Him, this eternal life, v. 28. We are reminded of His words in John 14. 6, where He is the Way, and the Life; these two concepts again being seen so closely linked together that the connection, along with the parallels of scripture which we have considered, are plainly by divine design.
Another blessed privilege of ours is to have ‘boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus’, Heb. 10. 19, which assures us of our access as worshippers to the living God. Yes, He is the Door, and through Him we enter into life, in all its fullness.