If Jesus Had Called More Than Twelve Legions Of Angels
Jesus prayed fervently in the Garden of Gethsemane that the cup would pass from Him. He did not want to endure all of the suffering that He knew He was about to experience. He wanted another way to be provided for salvation to be offered to mankind. But, no other way was provided. Instead, after Jesus finished praying, Judas came with a great multitude and betrayed Jesus. Jesus was immediately arrested. Then, Jesus’ apostle Peter (who was known for being impetuous) drew his sword to fight and cut off the right ear of Malchus (the servant of the high priest, see John 18:10). Rather than fighting with Peter for His deliverance, Jesus instructed Peter to put away His sword, saying, “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and he will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” (Matthew 26:53).
1) Jesus went to the cross willingly. All of this teaches us that Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion did not happen because His enemies were so much stronger than Him. They did not overpower Him and put Him on the cross against His will. Furthermore, this all teaches us that the Father would have saved Jesus – if He requested to be saved. Yet, all of this teaches that Jesus Christ willingly suffered and died so that God’s plan for saving mankind could be fulfilled. But, what if Jesus had called twelve legions of angels to deliver Him? Note that a “legion” around the time of Jesus is believed to have consisted of 6,826 men.
2) What would history have recorded about Jesus? If Jesus had called more than twelve legions of angels, history may well have told about a man who lived on this earth, claiming to be the Son of God. Maybe it would tell us about a man who performed great miracles of healing in front of people, making the lame walk, a man who could walk on water and still storms, and a man who raised the dead. Maybe history would tell us about a man who stood above all other teachers of His time – and of all time. Yet, the story would abruptly stop – if Jesus had called more than twelve legions of angels.
3) What would man believe about God’s love? Please recognize that God does not owe mankind anything. God loved man enough to give him life. God also gave mankind a perfect law to follow. The fact that mankind violated the laws of God is not God’s fault. So, God was under no obligation to save man from his own sin. Yet, what would man likely believe about God’s love if Jesus Christ chose to save Himself rather than provide a sacrifice that could save everyone who was willing to obey Him? How would Jesus have shown His great sacrificial love and glorify His Father – if He had called more than twelve legions of angels?
4) What would it have meant for man’s soul? Spiritual death (separation from God) is the consequence of sin (Romans 6:23). Those who die (physically) while in sin will spend eternity in the torments of Hell fire (see Revelation 21:8). After a person commits sin, there is nothing he/she can do to earn salvation from that sin by himself/herself. The only possible way mankind could be saved was for God to provide the perfect sacrifice in Jesus Christ. So, mankind would be hopelessly lost and doomed for destruction – if Jesus had called more than twelve legions of angels.
Of course, Jesus did not call even one angel. So, we only are left to speculate about these other questions. Today, because Jesus did not call more than twelve legions of angels to deliver Him, history has recorded the tremendous love that Jesus had for mankind and His willingness to sacrifice Himself for sinners. Today, any person who learns about what God did for man in sacrificing Jesus Christ ought to be consumed by the great love of God. And, today, all mankind has the opportunity to be saved from sin through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!