The gate of righteousness.
“Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them, and I will praise the Lord. The “Open to me the gates” refers to the gate of the Lord, through which the righteous will enter.” Psalm 118:19, 20, NKJV. What is the “gate of righteousness”? The ‘gate of righteousness’ could not refer to the gate to the temple because David wrote this before the temple in Jerusalem existed. David identifies the “gate” as the “gate of the Lord through which the righteous will enter.” Where do the righteous enter? They enter through the “gate” into the Lord’s presence in heaven. This raises two questions. What, or who is the gate? Also, How do the sinners become righteous so that they could enter through the “gate of righteousness”?
Jesus Christ is the gate or the “door” to the Father. “Therefore Jesus said again, ‘I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.'” John 10:7, NIV. Jesus is the only gate for the righteous and the only way to the Father because He is the righteous gate. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’.” John 14:6, NIV. Whether we come to the Father to praise Him, as David desired, or to petition Him concerning our burdens, we must go through Jesus Christ because He is the only way. The only gate for the righteous, Jesus Christ, is open always. Jesus, on the cross at Golgotha, proclaimed, “It is finished”; the curtain in the temple split in two, symbolizing that the soldiers have pierced Jesus’ body. Therefore, the gate for the righteous is irreversibly open forever. Mathew 27:50, 51. However, only the righteous could enter through the open gate, Jesus Christ.
How do the sinners become righteous? Could it be achieved through the careful observance of the law? “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law;”… Romans 3:20, NIV. Long before the Incarnation, God announced through the prophet Isaiah: “‘But in the Lord all the descendants of Israel will be found righteous and will exult.'” Isaiah 45:25, NIV. The apostle Paul applied this verse to Jesus Christ. “But now apart from law Righteousness of God, has been manifested, to which the law and the prophets have born witness: even the righteousness of God through trustworthiness of Jesus Christ, toward and upon all who believe: there is no difference:” Romans 3:21, 22. My translation. So, by trusting Jesus Christ, we become righteous and thus qualified to come to our Father in heaven. We enter there through the only gate available, Jesus Christ, and in His name. John 16:23.