His Father Is Our Father
The picture of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is one of the most powerful and moving scenes in scripture. God’s Son is pleading to His Father while His disciples sleep. A huge crowd is assembling with Judas to come arrest Jesus of Nazareth. Golgotha stands empty waiting for the next bloody crucifixion to take place. Barabbas sits in a Roman jail not knowing that within hours he will be set free because of the one born in Bethlehem. The world is unaware of the moment in history when God will sacrifice His Son for the sins of all men.
Judas descends upon the place where Jesus often spent time in the garden. Assembled with him is a great multitude of people along with detachment of soldiers led by officers from the chief priests and Pharisees. The soldiers were fully armed; many in the crowd came with lanterns, torches and weapons. Judas was taking no chances. To the eleven disciples this must have been terrifying. The crowd moves closer to Jesus. Peter, fearful and unsure, takes a sword and lashes out, striking the servant of the high priest. He succeeds in cutting off his ear and the crowd becomes electrified. Calmly Jesus heals the ear of Malchus and says there is nothing to fear. He assures Peter and all those gathered in the garden that if it were so He could call upon His Father to send twelve legions of angels to protect Him.
A legion was a division of the Roman army amounting to more than 6,000 men. If this number is considered, Jesus is saying that in a moment’s notice – 72,000 angels would descend upon the earth and deliver Him from death. From the Old Testament we remember that only one angel destroyed 185,000 fighting men in one night. Imagine what 72,000 angels could do. All Jesus had to do was call upon His Father and the angels would come. The love of Jesus was so great He restrained from doing so and willingly offered His life for the sin of all men. He was doing the will of the Father.
It is not in our power to call down an angel to bring destruction upon our enemies. However, the same Father Jesus said He could call upon to deliver Him is the same Father we have in the family of Christ. Our greatest foe is Satan. The devil is very, very powerful, cunning, deceptive and full of destruction. There are times in life when he influences us to follow His path. We have the power to ask God to send us 72,000 angels to defeat the forces of wickedness, doubt, fear and trouble. When we struggle in life, we only have to ask for the angels. As the cold hand of Satan creeps into our lives, it is but a prayer away to seek the help of the Father. We should never let a day go by that we do not ask of the Father the same power Jesus knew was within His grasp. His Father is our Father. Our God is greater than anything – period. When days get dark, ask for the twelve legions of angels to come.
God hears us not the sooner for our many words, but much the sooner for an earnest desire. (Jeremy Taylor, Holy Living, 1650)