Nehemiah 3:1, "Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel."
This morning, many seek to "make sheep" with their messages. They tell the poor sinner to do A, B, C, X, Y, or Z, and that will land them in God's good graces to enter the portals of glory (provided of course that they do not fall from that blessed state). However, one of the foremost things for us to know about God's grace is that it is free to us. Grace is not free overall, for Christ paid a great price for the grace to be free to us. Had He not offered that great sacrifice without spot to God, we would owe a debt of ten thousand talents with nothing to pay. Further still, had we owed a debt of one cent, we would still have nothing to pay.
Nehemiah and others are building the wall and gates of Jerusalem, having returned home from captivity. As they begin to restore the gates of the city, something interesting occurs. Out of all the gates of the city, only one does not have any bars or locks put on it. In the case of the old gate, broad gate, dung gate, etc., they place locks and bars upon them. However, the sheep gate has no such obstructions. This gate does have a door though. In this verse, many different things happen that Christ fulfilled Himself.
The priests are building the gate, and Christ is most certainly a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec, by which He offered the perfect sacrifice that was accepted by God. They placed a door upon the gate, and Christ is the Door that opens to the sheep. Finally, the gate itself can be looked upon as an entrance or way. Christ declared that He is the way, the truth, and the life. So, in all of these things, Christ is pictured by this natural building and builders.
However, they intended this gate for one thing. SHEEP! Now, if one is a goat, nothing will ever change the fact that they are a goat. If one is a sheep, nothing will ever change the fact that they are a sheep. Jeremiah says that a leopard cannot change his spots or the Ethiopian the color of his skin. No matter how hard a minister works or preaches, the sheep stay sheep and the goats stay goats. However, he can, by the help of the Almighty, feed the sheep. So, they made this gate only for the sheep.
Also, we find, as mentioned before, this gate has no locks. The door opens through the gate for those that are sheep with no price to pay for entrance. They do not knock and say, "Please open, for I am a sheep." Rather, the porter hears the voice of the shepherd that declares he is bringing the sheep through. Our Shepherd declares to the Porter that He is bringing His sheep in. So it is when one of our dear loved ones presses the dying pillow that our dear Saviour leads them through the gates of heaven to declare them before His Father. Then, one day, we all will appear with Him in glory to hear the blessed words of our Chief Shepherd who says, "Behold, I and the children which God hath given me." He is our Shepherd, Porter, Door, Gate, and Way. Do not ever worry about what will happen to any portion of us (body, soul, and spirit), for He will deliver us wholly into the presence of God forever and evermore.