Shows that Christ took the punishment for our sins so that we can be alive in Him. Comes in a pack of 10.
“Did God really go to jail? If so, why? What for?
“And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison…and he was there in the prison…but the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison…because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper” (vss. 20-23).
“And he [Herod] killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also…and put him in prison…And, behold, the angel of the LORD came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up saying, Arise quickly… (vss. 2-4, 7).
“And when they had laid many stripes upon them [Paul and Silas], they cast them into prison…who…thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake…” (vss. 23-26).
Yes, God went to jail—not because of any crime He had committed! Nor any wrong doing He had done! Read on.
The man in jail was Joseph. When a teenager, he was beloved of his father, Jacob. He had dreams that he would rule over his brothers, plus his father and mother. Those brothers, full of envy and hate, sold him and he ended up working for Potiphar, the captain of the guard in Egypt. Working in Potiphar’s house, Potiphar’s wife tempted Joseph to commit fornication. He refused, fled, and was falsely accused by the woman; therefore, Potiphar put him in prison.
But remember, Joseph was in prison for a crime he did NOT commit! How did God help him? Our passage states twice, “The LORD was with Joseph.” His presence was with Joseph in prison! It also says He “showed him mercy and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper (vs. 21). Verse 23 says the LORD prospered him while he was in prison. Note carefully that the LORD didn’t take him out right away; He just was there with him, giving mercy, favor, and prosperity. Why did God help Joseph in prison? Because He knew Joseph was NOT guilty.
Who was Peter? One of the Twelve Apostles who had been with the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry. He had denied the Lord but the Lord had forgiven him. He was a Holy Spirit empowered preacher of the Kingdom of God’s truth. Why was he in jail? Acts 12:2-4 tells us, “just because Herod was trying to please the Jews.”
Peter had committed NO crime. He had done nothing amiss. He had broken no laws; but Herod had killed James, and it pleased the Jews so he put Peter in prison, planning to kill him, too.
So, the LORD came into the prison, via the angel of the LORD, to help him. How? By taking him out of the prison then and there! Why did He help Peter by taking him out of the prison? There are two reasons: (1) He knew Peter was NOT guilty of any wrong doing; and (2) He wanted Peter to go on living and preaching for Him for a time.
PAUL AND SILAS
Paul, one of the two put in jail, was a special messenger with a special message to special people. He was a “special messenger” because God had especially chosen him (Acts 22:14; 26:16). His “special message” was the message of the “Grace of God in Christ Jesus” (Acts 20:24), including the Mystery of Jewish believers and Gentile believers being a joint-body in Christ (Eph. 3:2, 6). The “special people” to whom the Lord sent him were “the Gentiles” (Acts 26:17; Eph. 3:1; 1 Tim. 2:7).
Silas, the one in jail with Paul, was one of Paul’s constant traveling companions in the ministry. What had they done? They simply delivered a poor girl from demonism, through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. For that, they had been thrown into the inner jail where their feet were placed in the stocks!
You see, the poor girl was owned by unscrupulous fellows who were making money through her “spirit [evil] of divination.” When they saw their “hope of gain was gone,” they angrily accused Paul and Silas of “teaching customs which were not lawful for them to receive nor observe, being Romans.” So they threw them into jail. Keep in mind, they were NOT guilty of any crime or wrong doing.
How did God help them? By sending an earthquake which shook the foundations of the jail and caused all the jail doors to fly open, plus loosened all the chains by which the prisoners were bound. Notice: no one ran out! They all stayed put! When the keeper arrived and was about to kill himself because he was sure the prisoners had all escaped, Paul shouted, “Do yourself no harm, we are all here!” The next day Paul and Silas were released.
OK, why had the LORD helped them? Because He knew they were NOT guilty and because He wanted them to go on living and preaching God’s grace in Christ Jesus for a time!
Yet, there was another reason why God went to jail for each one of these men … because they were HIS Children!
Are all His children? NO, NO, a thousand times NO! Only those who are “saved by grace through faith” are HIS Children.
Joseph was His child…by faith.
Peter was His child…by faith.
Paul and Silas were His children…by faith.
ARE YOU HIS CHILD?
“But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).
That … “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 6:23).
That … each person is a sinner. “…While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
That … Christ arose from the grave and “ever liveth” … “able to save all who come unto God by Him” (Heb. 7:25).
In Jail or OUT OF JAIL, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts 16:31).
Dear Reader: Won’t you call upon the name of the Lord by praying this simple prayer?
“Dear Lord: I know I am a sinner and deserve to die for my sins. I thank you for sending the Lord Jesus to die on the Cross for my sins and paying my sin debt. Lord Jesus, forgive my sin and save me right now. I trust you today! In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer, please fill out the decision card on the inside back panel and return to us so that we can pray for you and send you some free literature that will help you begin your new life in Christ.”