I still remember being nervous as a cat standing behind those two double doors. It was my wedding day, and I was about to walk through those doors to meet my bride on the other side.
As the music played and the doors opened, I walked through the doors to get something better on the other side; my bride.
When we hear Jesus say, “I am the door”, we imagine Jesus like those double doors. We come to Him to get something better on the other side (heaven, better marriage, better health, etc.).
However, this is not what Jesus meant when he said, “I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7).
To understand this phrase we need to visualize the sheep pen Jesus is referring to (see picture):
Notice there is no actual “door”, but rather an opening for sheep to walk through and enter the sheepfold. The reason the sheep pen has no door, is because the shepherd himself would become the door.
To enter the pen the sheep would have to walk through the shepherd who stood at the entrance. As they entered, the shepherd would examine each one and care for their individual needs. Once in, the shepherd would lay his body across the opening of the pen (literally becoming the door) so that no wolves could access the sheep (except through his dead body).
In the morning the sheep would again pass through the door (the shepherd) and graze under the care and watch of the good shepherd as he lead them to green pasture and fresh water.
Here’s the point: The sheep didn’t walk through the door (the shepherd) to get something better, they walked through the door to get to the door! The sheep walked through the shepherd to get to the shepherd. They came through him to get his care, protection, and provision. They came through him because they loved him and he loved them.
This is what Jesus means when He says He is the door. He is not the thing we walk through to get something better, He is the something better! As His sheep we walk through Him to get Him! In Him we find both salvation and enjoy green pasture (a relationship with Him). Jesus is not just the way to abundant life, Jesus is our abundant life!
On my wedding day I used those double doors as a means to an end. I walked through them to get something better (my wife)! In salvation Jesus is not a means to an end. Jesus is the means and He is the end! We walk through Jesus to get a new relationship with God, and it is through Him that we enjoy our relationship with God.
So don’t come to Jesus to get something better. Instead, realize Jesus is the something better.