In ancient times, opening the gates meant becoming defenseless. It either meant that you were on the right side of the battle and your king was returning home, or you were on the wrong side of the battle and you were being taken over by a new king—a more powerful king.
The king referred to in Psalm 24 is repeatedly described as the King of glory. Glory means the state of being magnificent, splendid, extraordinary, and praiseworthy. Still, the psalmist does not name this King. Who is this King of glory?
At the time of Jesus’ birth, a star had indicated the birth of an extraordinary king ( Matt. 2:2). Thirty-three years later, when confronted by Pilate, Jesus acknowledged that he was a king but that his kingdom was clearly not on this earth (John 18:36). Where is the kingdom that Jesus rules, and how will we recognize it?
Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords. (Rev. 19:11-16)
The conquering of sin and the defeat of death has revealed Jesus as the true King of glory. Jesus took on our battle, defeating sin and death, and now, we are people of his kingdom. Our hearts belong to the king who rightly won them. He is indeed praiseworthy, magnificent, splendid, and extraordinary! We lift our “gates” (hearts) to the true King of glory.