I have never noticed before today how similar this account of the near-death and rescue of Peter is to the death and resurrection of Jesus.
- Both face one of the Herods
- Both are arrested around the time of the Passover
- The arrest of each is preceded by the killing of a previously popular leader: John the Baptist and James
- Both Herods are motivated by placating the Jewish people
- Jesus hung between two criminals, while Peter was chained between two soldiers
- Jesus escaped the tomb; Peter escaped a prison and iron city gate
- Once freed, both go to a “Mary” first
- The reunion with friends is incomplete in both accounts: people run off to tell others, and Jesus and Peter both tell someone to tell significant disciples about their return
- The guards in both accounts are put to death for their perceived negligence
The interesting point is that while both stories are so similar, the fate of each was quite differently: Jesus died but Peter was spared.
Nonetheless, God’s will is done in each story. It was God’s will for Jesus to die on that day. Presumably, it was God’s will for Peter to live another day. Both served God’s greater goals — to die for all and to continue preaching and leading the early church — but in different ways.
We can rest in an assurance that God will bring His will to pass one way or another. Some times we will be rescued like Peter. Sometimes we will not, like James. But, positive or negative outcomes, God’s desires will be done.