Holy Saturday and the Great Prison Break

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April 16, 2022

1 Peter 5:10-14 NIV

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

12 With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.

13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

CONSIDER THIS

I wonder if Peter was thinking about that time he was in prison as he closed out his letter to the scattered exiles whom he called the chosen people, the royal priesthood, the holy nation, God’s special possession. I wonder if was remembering that night he sat bound, sitting between and chained to two soldiers in a dank prison cell guarded by multiple sentries. It was the eve of his trial before Herod and certain execution. His best friend James had already met with the executioners sword. Hear the story from Luke’s pen:

5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. 6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. (Acts 12:5-7)

If you’ve got a few more minutes today and want to be astonished, read the rest of Acts 12. Within the week, not only had Peter not been executed, Herod was struck dead by God. And for good measure you might take a look at Acts 16:16-40 and the story of Silas, Peter’s “ride or die”, and his miraculous bail from jail. 

Yes, Peter knew of what he spoke when closed out his letter with this word of courage. 

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

It all points us to Jesus, the Lord of the Church he is building, who lay in that dank prison cell dsof a borrowed tomb, bound in grave clothes, his body still shackled in the curse he had just crushed—as he preached the Gospel to the dead bound in the prison of Hell. And all of this as the angels warmed up for the ultimate Hallelujah chorus:

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). 

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

All of this calls to mind the fourth stanza of great Anthem of Awakening, And Can It Be, penned by the poet laureate of Great Awakening himself, Charles Wesley:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Sing it if you know it. 

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Wake up sleeper and rise from the dead. . . 

Your turn: 

THE PRAYER

Jesus, you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. Thank you for Peter, the impetuous disciple, the unlikely Apostle, the first and greatest Pope of the Church you are building. We celebrate him today in the Communion of Saints, that great cloud of witnesses cheering us on. Thank you for Peter’s suffering, and his cross and his martyr’s blood that still cries out. It is all because of you. Thank you for your suffering, your Cross, your Grave, your Resurrection, your Ascension, your reign and your impending return. Holy Spirit, interpret these verities and these mysteries to our deepest selves. You have our confession. You have our very lives. Build your Church. Father, it will be an honor to suffer for you. Praying in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

THE QUESTION

So what are the takeaways from Peter’s Letter? What do you remember from the journey? What shifted in your soul? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com
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P.S. The Domino Effect (Colossians) begins Monday on the Daily Text

On Monday we begin a fifty day journey through Paul’s letter from a Roman prison cell to the Church in Colossae. The series is called The Domino Effect and is one of my favorites. We actually have the books in the Seed House and encourage you to get a copy today. And please invite family and friends to join us in the series. 

P.S.S. The Ukraine Offering Approaches $90,000. Let’s make it $100K! 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. So you ask: What spiritual wisdom have I received as a result from the study of this letter? (1) As true believers, we should expect and prepare to suffer for the cause of the kingdom of God, it’s the way of the cross. (2) The divide between “clergy “ and “laity “ is one of function, not spiritual rank.(3) All of us who have been called out of this dark world have been endowed with Spiritual Gifts to enable us to become the building blocks of God’s temple (dwelling place). (4) Although all of us will someday physically die in this body due to sin, we have God’s sure promise that the gates of Hades will not imprison us; but that we know that our Redeemer lives and that he will stand on the earth in the latter day. And though worms destroy this body we shall behold Him with our own eyes.

  2. A big takeaway for me is that as “foreigners and exiles” we are to have and to maintain a totally different perspective of life on earth than the people who see themselves as “permanent residents.” Our calling as members of the “church” that Jesus is building is to demonstrate His reality by following and obeying Him, not our own desires or the attitudes of the people around us. It’s not up to us to try to fix individuals or countries by meddling or to try to console them in their deception by false teaching. My biggest takeaway, however, is the encouragement I received by finding others who share a similar passion for Jesus and perspective of His kingdom. Thank you, JD!

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