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The Apostles' Miraculous Release From Prison

Scriptures Expounded - Posted on Tuesday, November 4, 2014
by Temi Peter
The Apostles' Miraculous Release From Prison

And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,
Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

Acts 5:18-20
Another significant but usually unnoticed miracle took place in the scripture above. The angel of the Lord had opened the prison doors, brought forth the apostles and charged them to go and speak the words of this life. Have we ever taken time to examine how this miracle took place and the events that took place afterwards? That is exactly what we shall do now.
Acts 5:21 stated that the apostles obeyed the angel’s instruction by heading to the temple to teach as soon as it was morning. While they taught the high priest summoned the council and the senate to a meeting and sent for the imprisoned apostles, probably to have them tried. In Acts 5:22-24, the officers returned with a shocking report; they had met the prison shut with all safety and the keepers standing without – as expected, but there was no man within – they could not find the apostles. How could that be? There couldn’t have been a jail break since they met the prison shut with the keepers (not one person) at their duty posts. If there had been a jail break, the keepers would have raised an alarm before the arrival of the officers who came to fetch the apostles. But as it were, even the keepers were not aware that the apostles had left the prison during the night. It is expected of prison warders to go round the prison to check out inmates at specific periods especially in the morning and at night. Is it that they forgot to do the needful or when they did they still found the apostles’ ‘replica’? That must have been the case because if they did not see the apostles who had been kept in their custody physically, they would have sounded an alarm before the arrival of the officers from the high priest. So what happened? Let us examine what took place previously in Acts 5:18-20. The scripture says an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night and brought forth the apostles. We all know angels to be spirit-beings who can’t be seen by the physical eyes. But for the sake of this operation, the angel in question must have taken on a human form to be able to open the prison doors with supernatural master keys, release the apostles and charge them to go and speak in the temple. It is noteworthy that while the angel was busy releasing the apostles physically, the prison keepers must have either fallen into deep sleep such that they did not notice anything or they just did not see or hear as the angel released the apostles from the prison and brought them out. Please bear in mind that when the officers from the high priest returned in the morning to fetch the apostles from the prison, they met the prison keepers and the prison doors intact. On discovering that the apostles were no more inside the prison, they did not blame the prison keepers or find them guilty of any wrongdoing. If they had found out that the escape of the apostles had to do with the negligence of the prison keepers, they would have punished them and the Bible would have recorded it. Hence, the release of the apostles from the prison falls short of nothing but an extraordinary miracle and we shall only be able to fully understand and comprehend it when we get to heaven. Indeed, when the high priest, captain of the temple and the chief priests heard of their miraculous escape, they doubted it (Acts 5:24) until word came from one of those who had seen the apostles standing in the temple and teaching the people (Acts 5:25). Unfortunately, the miraculous event that took place was not enough to soften their (the high priest, captain of the temple and chief priests) hearts and make them receive the gospel as was preached by the apostles rather they all the more stopped them and would have even stoned them but for the fear of the people (Acts 5:26). Quite unfortunate!

Posted by:
Temi Peter


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