Today is Passover in the Jewish culture – it was the day Jesus was taken by the authorities, given an unfair trial, and condemned to death. I am reading through Matthew right now, and a verse jumped out at me. It comes when Peter cuts off an ear of a guard in order to hinder Jesus from being taken. Jesus turns to him and says, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father and he will at once send me MORE than twelve legions of angels.” Matthew 26:53
A legion is 6,000 troops. Twelve legions of angels would be 72,000 angels.
During Passover and Easter we focus on the cross – and rightly so — but many of us miss a very important underlying theme — Jesus had every power to stop every single thing that happened to him.
“Peter, don’t you know I can call twelve legions of angels in an instant?
When you think about it — that is miraculous.
Jesus healed the leaper, he cured the blind, he walked on water, he raised the dead and yet, he did not stop one thing that happened to him. Let’s recount.
“They spit in his face.” Matthew 26:67
“And they struck him.” Matthew 26:67
“And some slapped him.” Matthew 26:67
And they “scourged him.” Matthew 27:26
“And they stripped him.” Matthew 27:28
“And twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head.” Matthew 27:29
“And kneeling before him, they mocked him.” Matthew 27:29
“And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head.” Matthew 27:30
“And they crucified him.” Matthew 27:35
“And those who passed by derided him . . . and reviled him” Matthew 27:39, 44
Jesus – God, on the cross, enduing ridicule, mockery, and unending pain when every single second, every single moment, every single breath, every single heartbeat, more than twelve legions of angels were standing by — Just say the word Jesus!
And – He – Did – Not – Utter – One – Word.
Not once. Not during the mockery, or the slaps, or the spit, or the nails. Blow by blow, nail by nail. Not – One – Word.
That is unbelievable. That is scandalous. That is the cross. That is how much he loves us.
Twelve legions never came.
Twelve legions could have.