“Does it not seem possible to you that if I make request to my Father he will even now send me an army of angels?.“ – Vs 53 (BBE)
I love this verse for a number of reasons. First, it assures me of Jesus’ confidence in His identity. He is the Son of God and He has every right and the authority to end the madness that is about to take place – with just a word from His mouth. All He has to do is ask His Father, and thousands of thousands of angels would come to His aid. He could wipe out the Pharisees and all the other so-called religious rules, including the High Priest Caiaphas. And if I had been Jesus, I probably would have done it. At this point in the proceedings, I would have gotten fed up with the disciples and everyone else around me and put an end to this madness. But that’s not what Jesus did. When Peter strikes off the ear of one of the high priest’s slaves, Jesus tells him to put his sword away. Peter was not going to be able to stop what was about to happen. But Jesus could have. And He didn’t.
He could have stopped the arrest. He could have prevented the trials, the beatings, the ridicule, the verbal and physical abuse, and ultimately, His death. But Jesus was going to finish what He had begun. He asks the somewhat rhetorical question, “How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?” (Vs 54). He knew He had to follow through with the divine plan in its entirety – even if it meant pain and suffering at the “hands of sinners” (Vs 45), the hands of men He Himself had created. He knew He had to fulfill the prophesies made so many centuries before. He was the key to God’s plan of salvation for mankind. His humanity struggled with the prospects of suffering a violent death on a Roman torture device. He prayed three times in the garden, asking, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Vs 39). His humanity longed to escape this destiny of death. But His divinity was determined to obey the will of the Father. From the time that Satan first tempted Jesus in the garden, trying to get Him to take a path other than the one God the Father had prescribed, Jesus had been faithful and obedient. And it wasn’t going to change now.
It must happen this way. And it did. Jesus went willingly. He suffered silently. He died gladly. All so that we might live eternally.
“Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.” – Philippians 2:6-8, NLT
Jesus could have called down angels to rescue Himself. But He came to rescue us. “He died for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live” (Galatians 1:4, NLT).
Father, thank You for You divine plan of redemption. Without it I would be lost. Jesus, thank You for willingly following through with that plan. You didn’t have to do it. You didn’t have to save me. You didn’t have to die in my place, but you did. You could have called down angels, but you didn’t. And I can’t thank You enough! Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men