Exodus 12:17 NIV  “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.
Acts 12:1-4 NIV  It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.  He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.  When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread.  After 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.
Acts 16:25-26 NIV  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
I entitled this post “Broken Chains” because as believers in Christ we are currently in a season of broken chains. What once held you captive no longer does. Where you once thought there was no life or hope you now see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are always transition periods in life and we are in one. Whatever you face, God has now broken you free from stagnation and you can now move freely. It is up to us to now get into a mindset that is conducive to forward movement. In order to get into a mindset of freedom we need to spend time reading and ruminating on the word of God daily. Also spending time in prayer daily is very important. Prayer is your communication with God and what good is a relationship without communication. If we read the word of God we become more familiar with His characteristics and patterns. We will also become more familiar with the people who were facing very difficult times and how they responded to those challenges.
The chains of bondage are broken and a transition point comes. I am going to reference Exodus 12 where Passover or the The Festival of Unleavened Bread is referenced, Peter’s miraculous release from prison (Acts 12) and Paul’s miraculous release from prison (Acts 16).
As I was thinking about what to write the Holy Spirit had me ask myself a few questions about these passages of scripture as I read them.
What is the significance of Passover? What is the significance of Peter being imprisoned during Passover? Also what does it mean when the passage says “about midnight” when Paul was praising in prison?
Passover (Festival of Unleavened Bread) is a remembrance of when the Lord passed over the homes of the Israelites who had covered their doorposts with lamb’s blood and their exodus from Egypt. God gave them instruction “to commemorate” that day for generations to come and that it would be a “lasting ordinance”.
Peter was imprisoned during Passover, during a feast that commemorated the release of captives, figuratively you could say breaking the chains of the prisoner. He was miraculously released by an angel (even Christ, “Passover lamb,” was taken during Passover and God performed a miracle through His death and resurrection).
At about Midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing to God and then they were released from prison miraculously by an earthquake and brought people to the knowledge of Christ on the way out.
God used these particular times to show us a theme. Passover represents a time of being passed over, and protected from harm in the midst of a trying situation. It commemorates a miracle of being delivered into a new pattern or a transition. Midnight is the transition from one day to another which also brings in a new pattern and the new mercies that come with a new day, “It is the of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is they faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Both situations illustrate bondage, but when God stepped in with something to break the pattern or form of bondage we have a revelation of who He is in our lives. He has broken the chains of your life and given you a new way of moving forward in His protection, with His instruction. Each time bringing you from glory to glory with each victory. In each set back ( at least what seems like a setback) it’s a set up to see a deeper part of God and for Him to remind you of the great things He has done and will further do in your life.