O key of David and sceptre of Israel,

what you open no one else can close again;
what you close no one can open.
O come to lead the captive from prison;
free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Today we address Christ as “Key”. We are made in the image and likeness of God, but that likeness has been marred by the effects of sin. Christ shows us a man who is the perfect image and likeness of God and so gives us an example to follow. Christ is the key that unlocks our lives and frees us from sin and death. He is the key to our salvation. When we live in Christ, when we put on “the mind of Christ” (1Cor 2:16), then we are made capable of living life as it should be lived, a life in union with God.

But a key only works because of its distinctive shape. We have a tendency to make God in our own image, to ignore the hard sayings: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (Jn 6:53 ESV); and “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.” (Mt 15:19-20 ESV). How many of us pay no attention to this statement of Christ’s, and, for example, slander others. But without these hard sayings the Christ that is left to us is watery and shapeless and no longer the Key of salvation. We must come to know and love the Christ of the Gospels so that he can be the Key that frees us from our captivity to sin.