An open gate will symbolize the entrance to Heaven, a closed gate symbolize death or exclusion, broken gates symbolize the powers of hell. Gates are the places which command the entrances or access; hence, place of vantage; power; might.
The gates of hell shall not prevail against it. --Matt. xvi.18.
Isa. 38:10 I said, "In the prime of my life must I go through the gates of death and be robbed of the rest of my years?"
Matt. 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, (n) and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Rev. 22:14 "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.
The Easton Bible Dictionary provides the following definition, meaning and emblem for the Gate Christian Symbol in the Bible.
At the Gates of cities courts of justice were frequently held, and hence "judges of the Gates" are spoken of (Deut. 16:18; 17:8; 21:19; 25:6, 7, etc.).
At the Gates prophets also frequently delivered their messages (Prov. 1:21; 8:3; Isa. 29:21; Jer. 17:19, 20; 26:10).
Criminals were punished without the Gates (1 Kings 21:13; Acts 7:59).
By the "Gates of righteousness" we are probably to understand those of the temple (Ps. 118:19).
"The Gates of hell" (R.V., "Gates of Hades") Matt. 16:18, are generally interpreted as meaning the power of Satan, but probably they may mean the power of death, denoting that the Church of Christ shall never die.
(1.) Of cities, as of Jerusalem (Jer. 37:13; Neh. 1:3; 2:3; 3:3), of Sodom (Gen. 19:1), of Gaza (Judg. 16:3).
(2.) Of royal palaces (Neh. 2:8).
(3.) Of the temple of Solomon (1 Kings 6:34, 35; 2 Kings 18:16); of the holy place (1 Kings 6:31, 32; Ezek. 41:23, 24); of the outer courts of the temple, the beautiful Gates (Acts 3:2).
(4.) Tombs (Matt. 27:60).
(5.) Prisons (Acts 12:10; 16:27).
(6.) Caverns (1 Kings 19:13).
(7.) Camps (Ex. 32:26, 27; Heb. 13:12).