Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (Acts 12:1-4)
Today's Morsel: The Bible says that Herod had killed James and he intended to do the same to Peter, but not until after Easter. The word Easter means the Passover. But prayer was being made by the church for Peter. Easter is a time for deliverance. Jesus died to make men free and He arose so that we, too, can walk in newness of life. The Passover was instituted when the children of Israel, departed Egypt. It was a day to be established as a memorial and never to be forgotten. Easter is a time that we all should reflect as to what took place that led to this time of what some would classify as a day of infamy. A day of disgrace to some, but a day of victory for the church. Isaiah said of Jesus, " He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth" (Isaiah 53:3-9). The Ethiopian Eunuch asked Phillip in Acts 8 as he was reading this passage, "I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:34-39). This Eunuch partook of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and he went away rejoicing. Easter is all about the Resurrection. Not only the Resurrection of Jesus, but it must be about your's as well.
Sing: I serve a risen Saviour, He's in the world today; I know that He is living, Whatever men may say; I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, And just the time I need Him, He's always near. (Chorus)
In all the world around me I see His loving care, And tho my heart grows weary, I never will despair; I know that He is leading, Thro' all the stormy blast, The day of His appearing Will come at last. (Chorus)
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and He talks with me along life's narrow way. He lives, He live, salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives: He lives within my heart.