On the third deck of the Ark Encounter, you can find our Why the Bible Is True exhibit. This exhibit, which brings the graphic novel Searching For Truth to life, follows three friends discussing their beliefs after a world religions class and includes a powerful gospel presentation.
Near the end of the exhibit, one friend answers questions about common objections to trusting God’s Word. He sketches biblical history by talking about certain doors mentioned in the Bible that highlight aspects of God’s love and mercy in a beautifully unique way.
The door to Noah’s ark is the first door mentioned in this presentation. God instructed Noah to build an ark to save his family and representatives of land-dependent animals. God flooded the earth to wipe out an exceedingly evil world.
The door of the ark symbolizes God’s justice and mercy: judging the wicked world and saving the righteous Noah, his family, and certain animals. It also symbolizes that there was only one way to be saved from the physical consequences of the Flood.
The next door comes from Moses’ time. Moses was instructed to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. The night before they left, God instituted the Passover. That involved sacrificing a spotless lamb and smearing its blood around their doorframes. Those who followed this instruction were saved from the tenth plague.
This door signifies God’s protection for the Israelites. It foreshadows the need to be covered by the blood of a perfect lamb. The Lord’s judgment was coming, but all whose doors were covered by the lamb’s blood would be spared from the plague on the firstborn.
The next door in the exhibit is the door to the Holy of Holies of the temple. King Solomon was instructed to build the first temple to be a place where God would dwell among the Israelites.
God is holy, and sinful man cannot be in his presence. This door represents our separation from him. Only the ceremonially pure high priest could enter the Holy of Holies. Once a year, this door was opened for the high priest to make atonement for the sins of the people.
Jesus said, “I am the door of the sheep. . .if anyone enters by me, he will be saved.” This door represents how Jesus is the only way for us to be in a relationship with God. Shepherds in Israel and the rest of the Middle East at that time rested in the opening to the sheepfold. That way, the sheep could only come and go through their “door”.
Jesus, the good shepherd, and our door to eternal life, foreshadowed his sacrificial death by explaining that the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Each of the doors mentioned above provided aspects of the good news. Man is sinful and separated from God (temple door), so he needs his sins to be blotted out. But because the punishment for sin is death, only a sacrificial death can remove sin. The blood of a spotless lamb was required (Passover door) to remove our sins. And like the Ark door symbolized man’s means of safety from death in the Flood, Jesus Christ, the good shepherd, laid down his life for us, and he is the only means of eternal salvation from sin.
Along with the crucifixion scene, this door is the climax of the gospel presentation: the door of the tomb. When Jesus died and was resurrected, the angel rolled away the stone that acted as the door to his grave, showing that Christ had power over death. The Apostle Paul would later joyously exclaim that since Christ was raised from the dead, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. This is the hope of all Christians, that we will have eternal life with God in heaven.
These doors, or gates, are mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus taught that many people are on the path to death and destruction that they reached through the wide door. Our hope and prayer is that millions more will enter through the narrow door, which leads to eternal life. Jesus offers the gift of eternal life to all who believe in him (John 3:16). This is truly good news.
This powerful exhibit is an amazing way to share the gospel with friends or family who may be struggling with some of life’s tough questions. Plan your visit today and challenge them to think bigger!