Acts 16:24-27 “and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in stocks. But about midnight…”
I recall how when I first read this, I found it a little confusing… How in the world could a couple of men who had just been beaten, on their bare backs “with many blows” find it an ideal moment, “midnight”, to pray and sing? (v25)
As the story unfolded I noticed that I had to go back to Acts 9 to understand what had transpired in the Apostles life that enhanced this victorious moment; he had met Jesus Christ in the process of endeavoring to destroy every inkling of the resurrection of Jesus, and the expansion of this understanding they had relative to Scripture having been fulfilled. His training in the old school of the Pharisees was no longer his commitment. The Damascus road encounter with Jesus was the dynamic of this moment and intended future. Christ must be the theme of this occasion, and his minute by minute life in the future.
Everyone does not have an experience such as Paul’s, but there must be the comprehension of Christ being the Savior of mankind, and the dependence upon Him to have become their sin-bearer. That little word “believe” in John 1:12 is the key… “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name!”
Only could my dependence upon HIM (Jesus) and His right and reason produce my confidence of a new birth, (Spiritual) to enable me to sing and pray at midnight, in a prison, with a bleeding back and multiple aches and pains.
My question to all of us is quite simple: “How important has the death and resurrection of Christ become to me/us if faced with a similar experience?”
Things are happening worldwide, and in our own society that gives credence to similar experiences becoming ours in the not too distant future!