“’The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.’” Revelation 3:7

O come, Thou Key of David come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

One of my first jobs in high school was working as a janitor at the church and school where I grew up. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were some very unpleasant parts of that janitorial job, but it also came with some cool perks. One of the best perks was having keys to the entire church and school building.

When you’ve got keys, you’ve got power and responsibility because you’ve got access. You can open doors and you can lock them. You can get in places no one else can and you can keep people out of places you don’t want them to go. I’ll never forget what it was like the first time one of my grade school teachers, a person I had always viewed as an authority figure, was now looking to me, a fifteen-year-old kid, as the authority who could open the door for her after she had locked her keys in her classroom. (A word to the wise: befriend your custodians and janitors. You never know when you might be locked out.)

If you’ve ever been locked out of your house, your car, or even your locker, you know how important it is for someone to have the key. The person with your key is your lifeline.

This Advent, we look to Jesus as our key, our lifeline. Verse 5 of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” asks for the “Key of David” to come. Where does this come from and what does it mean? This name for Jesus goes all the way back to Isaiah 22:22 where the steward of the king is described as the one who holds the Key of David. The person who has the key has the responsibility over the whole kingdom.

In Revelation, Jesus himself says that he holds the key of David. This means he is the one who has the control over the kingdom of God. He can open doors that no one else can and he can shut doors so that no one can open them.

With all the authority and responsibility of the whole kingdom of God, Jesus chooses to open the door to eternal life for you. When you were locked out with no access to God, Jesus gave you access by his death and resurrection. Having conquered sin, death, and the devil, the way to misery is closed and the way on high is open.

When Jesus opens a door, no one can shut it. You can trust that it stays open for you. As we pray for the key of David to come again, he extends his invitation to you to come and enter the kingdom of God.


O Key of David and scepter of the house of Israel,
You open and no one can close,
You close and no one can open:
Come and rescue the prisoners who are in darkness and the shadow of death. Amen!


  1. Share a time when you got locked out or when you had to help someone who was locked out. What was that like?
  2. How does it impact you to know that the door to eternal life has been opened by Jesus?

Read the next devotion in the series here.