Summary: Biblical story of Peter's miraculous release from prison and how we, too, can be released from injustice
Jailbreak: When God Unlocks the Chains of Injustice
Pastor Leslie A. Rutland-Tipton
Enemy uses several tactics to make us fearful
1. King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church
a. A direct threat or action toward you
2. King Herod intended to persecute them
b. Intentions of malice toward us
3. King Herod had James, brother of John, put to death
c. One of our own is taken from us
God has a way out of trials, persecution, injustice
1. God prepares the way
a. Take a look at the very first occurrence in this sequence. The angel appeared, struck him on the side (to wake him up and fast)
Funny story about Sandra, my wife. She doesn’t like to have to wake up quickly. In fact, she won’t. Well, I learned from her sister that she’s been like that her whole life. When she was younger and still living at home, their mother used to have a hard time waking Sandra up. So in order to get her up quickly, Sandra’s mother would walk into the room, lift up the covers, and throw a cold piece of fruit next to her in the bed.
I tried it once...........it get’s her up, but it’s not pretty.
Back to Peter...the angel of the Lord woke him up, told him what to do and unlocked the chains on Peter’s wrists.
Where else have we seen an angel of the Lord showing up and preparing the way for freedom?
Go back to Acts 5: 17 But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. 18 They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out
Even Jesus was led around by God in the midst of injustice. In Luke 4, we read about the temptation of Jesus, and verse 1 states that He was “led around by the Spirit for 40 days.” We see our direct example here showing us exactly what to do.
Now, how do we normally handle situations like these. We find ourselves in a bind, and we get stuck trying to figure the way out. How can I free myself from this injustice, how can “I” get out of this, how can I, I, I, I, I, I, I....you with me?
But God is showing us here that He makes the way.
Let’s move on to point number 2.
2. We MUST take action
a. God gives us tasks to do, which are part of the freedom.
Listen to verse 8. “Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,”
The angel of the Lord was saying to Peter. we’re about to go somewhere, and you need to be ready. You need to get your clothes on, Peter, and you need to be ready when I say go.
One thing we don’t see Peter doing here is arguing with the angel of the Lord, or disagreeing with the method the angel is using to free Peter.
Can you imagine?
Ok, so Mr. Angel sir, what you’re saying is that now that these chains have fallen off, you want me to just stand up, get dressed, and follow you out of here, where 16 soldiers are guarding me? Ya, right. And oh by the way, you might want to turn down that little light of yours a bit.
We gotta be ready when its time for God to deliver us out of injustice and persecution. So many times we are all pent up and bent up about the situation we finds ourselves in. We are all about ourselves. “Woe is me, look at my terrible situation, look at who doesn’t like me or is putting me down or is saying bad things about me.” But God says through His messenger, it’s time to get ready, it’s time to prepare, it’s time to go!
Let’s take a look at what happened to the Israelites in Egypt. You remember the story. God was going to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, who were treating them unfairly.
In Chapter 11, verse 2 we see God say, in preparation for the Exodus, 2 Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.”
And then in Chapter 12 verses 3- 11
3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb[a](C) for his family, one for each household.(D) 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect,(E) and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month,(F)when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.(G) 7 Then they are to take some of the blood(H) and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night(I) they are to eat the meat roasted(J) over the fire, along with bitter herbs,(K) and bread made without yeast.(L) 9 Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs.(M) 10 Do not leave any of it till morning;(N) if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste;(O) it is the Lord’s Passover.(P)