Will You Open the Door?
The Light of the World by Holman Hunt
It's night time and we have a picture of Christ finding his way through the woods in search of a home. The darkness is shattered not only by the lantern he holds in his left hand but also by the halo glow surrounding his gold crown twined with thorns.
Jesus wears white robes symbolizing the power of the Holy Spirit upon him -- a new life from within. He is a risen Christ. The jeweled breastplate and red robe speak of his role as prophet, priest and king. He stands alone in the night. He has found the house he wishes to enter.
The door can be seen on the left side of the picture. It is fast barred with creeping tendrils of ivy binding it to its stanchions. Has it ever been opened? The unique feature of the door is that it has no handle -- no door knob. It can only be opened from the inside.
Patiently and politely the Lord stands knocking. We have no sense that he will use force to break down the door. He faces us with a look of sorrow and resolve. He has born the weight of all man's sin. All men are now reconciled to his Father. They are free to live their lives without fear or condemnation. But, while this is true for all men they do not know it yet.
This bolted door represents the human soul. Before Jesus Christ finds us we are shut up within ourselves. We may not realize what Jesus Christ has accomplished for us. But one day he finds our door and comes knocking. He has good news for us. Our sins are forgiven and our fellowship with God is restored!
He doesn't want us to be hiding away in fear and so he has come to find us. Jesus will never break down our door. God has given every man and woman free will. We must make a choice. In the meantime Jesus will patiently wait and keep knocking.
The question asked of us in this painting is "Will we open the door?"
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."