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The Gates of Hell

Anchor Devotional - 03.16.13


"For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his
tabernacle and set me high upon a rock."

(PSALM 27:5)

Matthew 16:5-20

North of the Sea of Galilee, on the slopes of Mount Hermon, rests the ruins of Caesarea Philippi. This ancient temple to Pan, Echo, and Hermes is known as the “Gates of Hades,” a cruel reminder of the dark adjacent cave where people sacrificed children and animals to pagan gods. It is possible that this is where Jesus was walking with His disciples when He posed the question that we read in Matthew 16: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” It was here that Peter proclaimed for them all, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” It was here that Jesus announced, “[O]n this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”


Two words are used in Greek: Petros, meaning a detached stone, which translates into “Peter;” and petra, meaning a bedrock. Jesus said, “On this rock (petra) I will build my church.” On what and whom is the church built? Is it Peter’s confession? Is it his teachings? Is it Christ Himself? Yes, to all three. Are you built on Jesus Christ, too?

Scripture Focus

Matthew 16:5-20

Insight

ON CHRIST, THE SOLID ROCK, I STAND/ ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND.
(EDWARD MOTE, 1834)

Read the Bible

  • Numbers 27-28
  • Psalm 75
  • John 17