Sing: Hosanna, Loud Hosanna, UMH 278
From the front portico of the Church of All Nations we had an excellent view across the Kidron Valley to the eastern wall of the Old City and the Golden Gate, the only major gate into the city which is sealed.
There has been a gate near this location since Solomon built the first Temple. In those days it was simply called the East Gate. When returnees from the exile rebuilt the Temple they named the eastern gate the Susa Gate in honor of the Jews who had remained in the Persian capital and helped pay for the construction of this new Jerusalem. During the years of the first and second Temple the Scape Goat was cast into the wilderness through this gate. After Herod rebuilt and expanded the Temple Mount this is the gate through which Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The Romans destroyed that gate when they razed the Temple in 70 AD.
The present gate was built by the Byzantines in the 6th century. The Ottomans built the present walls of the Old City in 1540. In 1541 they sealed the Golden Gate and built a cemetery in front of it in hope of preventing the Messiah from entering Jerusalem through this gate. Both Christians and Jews expect the Messiah to enter Jerusalem through this gate. I think if Jesus wants to enter though this gate nothing any human does will keep him from doing it.