“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)
When my grandson was a tyke, he loved keys. That is probably an extension of another love of his which I wrote about a while back: He loved to open and shut doors. I guess it all makes sense, right? I found a bunch of old keys in our junk drawer (one of them) and put them in his toy box. He was a super happy excited little boy when he made the discovery. It seemed he was always carrying the keys around. On more than one occasion, the last thing I had to do when laying him down to sleep was lovingly take the keys from his hands.
When Peter made his confession that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (6:16), the keys of the kingdom were given to the church. With the keys came the privilege and the responsibility to continue the work of Jesus Christ upon the earth. Despite many times of dysfunction and delay, the church has persevered and carried His mantle onward. Millions upon millions have come to know and grow in the Savior through the witness of the church and the equipping of the saints thereby. How wonderful to have the keys of the kingdom in our hands! We definitely should be super happy excited people.
We know that failure is not an option as even the very gates of hell shall not prevail against His church. This is not of our making, but His, for Jesus says, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and Death.” (Revelation 1:18)
When our life in Christ has finished its course, and we enter our rest, perhaps the Lord Himself will lovingly take the keys from our hands. Amen