Gates of Paradise
Italian artist Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378–1455) spent years skillfully crafting images of Jesus’ life into the bronze doors of Italy’s Florence Baptistery. These bronze reliefs were so moving that Michelangelo called them the Gates of Paradise.
As an artistic treasure, the doors greet visitors with echoes of the gospel story. It was Jesus who said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:9). On the night before His crucifixion, He told His disciples, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (14:6). Within a few hours Jesus would say to one of the criminals being crucified at His side, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
The apostle Peter a few weeks later boldly proclaimed to those who had called for Jesus’ death that “there is no other name under heaven . . . by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Years later, the apostle Paul wrote that there is only one mediator between God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5).
The gates of paradise are found in the Savior who offers everlasting life to all who believe and come to Him. Enter into the joy of His salvation.