The Keys to the Kingdom

by DanWolgemuth on April 15, 2016

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  (Matthew 16:19)

Recently in the course of racing from a conference call to an appointment, I found myself digging in my pocket for the keys that would give me access to a rental car and a hotel room.  When I arrived at an office complex where I had a meeting, a bar-coded name badge gave me the necessary electronic permission to avail myself of a bank of elevators that took me to the nineteenth floor.

Keys open possibilities and they restrict them.  They launch, ignite, and extinguish.  They unlock and they prevent.  Keys grant authority… they mysteriously open and close.

A plastic card, an oddly shaped electronic fob, an elegantly crafted antique skeleton key… all have purpose.  Access.  Control.  Power.  Strength.

In the waning moments of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He placed the keys of the “kingdom of heaven” in the palm of Peter’s calloused hand.  In the days ahead, they would bounce around in his heart like a single key in a bottomless pocket.  He would fiddle with them, misplace them, try and force them into the wrong lock.  But ultimately and confidently, he would slide them into the lock and he would masterfully release the gospel to a crowd of listeners in Acts 2.  “And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below,” he would declare, because he had the keys (2:19).  “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” he would add, because he had witnessed firsthand the power of the gospel.  (2:21)

So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.  (Acts 2:41)

The keys to the kingdom of heaven:  unlocking an explosion of God’s power through the release of the Good News.

The Lord sets the prisoners free.  (Psalm 146:7)

He frees captives and prisoners with the only key that fits the lock:  God’s Good News – the Message of hope; the formula for freedom.

Keys… now in the palm of our hand.

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