Monday, March 22, 2010

Acts 12:1-5

1It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.

2He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.

3When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

4After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.

5So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

A little history lesson
This is the 4th persecution of the church recorded in Acts. It differs from the first 3 in that it was instigated not by the Sanhedrin, but by a representative of the Roman government - Herod the King. This man was Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great who had ordered the babies to be killed when Jesus was born. He ruled over all of Palestine and came to Jerusalem only for the feast days. There is no record of his hatred toward Christians, rather he was a power monger. He was all-powerful and he could do what ever he wished.

When Herod saw that the crowd was pleased with death of John, he knew he would be even more popular if he killed the number one apostle, during Passover week when he would have a HUGE audience!!!

Extreme measures were taken to secure Peter until after Passover to be executed. Sixteen soldiers guarded him with 2 being handcuffed to him. It was impossible for him to escape!! The only thing Peter's fellow believers could do was PRAY!

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