The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him. Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!” (Acts of the Apostles 12:6-11 NLT)
Peter was secured between two Roman Soldiers. May I remind you that Roman soldiers were known for their ability to fight and their brawny condition. Not only was he fastened between two soldiers, others were stationed at two posts along the way to his cell. Peter was well guarded. Humanly speaking, he was locked in tight. No man was going to rescue him. Only divine intervention was going to save him. Peter was probably preparing for what seemed to be the inevitable. He was facing certain death. He knew that God was with him (see Matthew 28:20). As any human being, he likely, pondered the torture and agony that awaited. He didn't want to die, (Jesus experienced this in Matthew 26) but he was prepared to die with confidence that God was in control. He knew that death would only bring him directly into the presence of God (see 2 Corinthians 5: 1, 8). He wasn't without certain hope. He was ready to face death with hope. Biblical hope isn't a maybe situation. It is anticipation with expectation. Jesus is our hope. Peter and the other disciples had seen Jesus after His resurrection (see Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; and John 20). He was confident of life after death and the fear was gone. He must have remembered Jesus words of John 11:25-26 where Jesus said that He was the resurrection and the life and that whoever believes in Him will live even in death. The power of Jesus Christ gives us victory even when death is looming. Let us not face our circumstances with defeat, rather, let us face them in the victorious name of the resurrected Lord. He is with us!!! Don't ever forget that!!!
Peter was trusting Jesus to lead him in the midst of this seeming impossible situation. God stepped in and miraculously delivered Peter from the power of man. God wasn't finished with him yet. James was killed. Peter was delivered. God wasn't showing favoritism. He had future plans for Peter. James died, seemingly prematurely, like John the Baptist. Although they died physically, they yet live in eternity. Peter was eventually going to die, but not yet.
We, too, must trust Jesus with our lives. He is God and knows best. Live today with the certainty that, no matter what's happening, you are safely in Jesus hands!!! Praise God!!!
Rev. Curtis Norris