The inner cell of darkness
Acts 16:24 “When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.”
Paul and Silas were thrown not just in prison but because the jailer was commanded to guard them he then put them in the inner cell and had their feet fastened in the stocks.
The inner cell is a place of total darkness.
The inner cell is a place of heat.
The inner cell is even more difficult to escape from because of its many doors that block the way in and out.
The enemy of your life will do his best to get you into the inner cell.
As we walk through this holy week of Jesus we know where we are going. We are heading for the darkness of the cross. The sky will become black and the heavens will be silent, there will be no grand demonstrations in the sky as there were at his birth, no signs and wonders that we hold as important, Jesus went into the inner cell of darkness and intensity of pain with no exit route. And God is silent. He is silent because He teaches us that there are times in our lives, in the inner cell of darkness, when the most important voice is not His, but ours. The last words of Jesus at the darkest moment was ‘Father into your hands I commit my spirit.’ Then he gave his last breath. The only voice was that of Jesus. He quotes Psalm 31:5. But He is actually quoting not one verse but following the Jewish way of quotation actually pointing out the whole not just one small part. His hearers would know by rote the whole of that Psalm and so did Jesus. So at the end of this 3 hour darkness Jesus voice is speaking not only the despondency of that Psalm but importantly this also:
Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
I trust in the Lord…. You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place… I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands …Let your face shine on your servant … How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you …
The most important voice is not His, but ours: and He is waiting and He is listening. Will our voice contain His words or our complaint? Jesus taught us to speak the living word of God and by doing so knowing that here in this inner cell of darkness, God is still in control.
Back to Paul and Silas and their voice? That is for tomorrow …