Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53)
Salvation’s Wondrous Plan Was Done
Ray Overholt penned a beautiful song when he wrote “Ten Thousand Angels.” Taken from the statement of Jesus rebuking Peter for drawing a sword against those arresting Him, the song describes the power of the Lord to protect Himself if it was the will of God. A legion was a division of the Roman army amounting to more than 6,000 men. Jesus was telling Peter and all those who came to arrest Him that He had at His disposal upwards of 72,000 angels to defend Him if needed. Considering the story from 2 Kings of 185,000 Assyrians slain in one night by one angel it could easily be calculated Jesus could immediately wipe out thirteen billion, three hundred twenty million men people; or the whole population of the world. Admittedly the song has a more poetic prose to sing ‘ten thousand’ than ‘seventy-two thousand’ but the lesson is still the same. God would provide His Son with an army of angels that would destroy the world – but He did not – and Jesus did not invoke that power. There was something larger that had to be accomplished.
Jesus allowed the band of soldiers and Jewish leaders to arrest Him. He permitted the mocking, beating and crucifixion because it was the will of His Father. The Lord gave His life on the cross so that all men could find salvation in His blood. His sacrifice was necessary for the redemption of man from the pains of sin. There was no greater love shown to man than He who was God coming in the flesh to die a horrible death. This was the plan of salvation. It was first promised moments after man turned his back on God. Immediately when man fell God provided hope in a resurrection. A Seed would come that would bring man back to communion with the Lord. Planned before time began, the plan of salvation unfolded over the centuries to find its fulfillment in the death, burial and resurrection of God’s Son. He could have called legions of angels but He did not. The Lord prayed to His Father of another way to save man but there was no way but the cross. Jesus fully accepted the plan of His Father and courageously faced the horrible but momentary suffering of the cross. When He cried out “It is finished” and He died – salvation’s wondrous plan was done. Three days later God raised His Son from the dead and the dawn of redemption spread across the world.
The work of saving man is the most wondrous thought man can ever believe. It is amazing that God would love man so much to give His Son to die for him. Incredible describes the amount of love given to a rebellious creature but the Father allowed His only begotten Son to be sacrificed for the sins of all men. Jesus could have done a lot of things but He chose to save you and to save me. Seventy-two thousand angels were ready to answer the call of the Lord but it never came. There was something bigger to be done. Jesus had to die. His death would save man. He humbled Himself and died on a cruel piece of wood in a place called Golgotha. His restraint unleashed the grace of God to all the world. Salvation’s wondrous work was done. Thank you Father. Thank you Jesus.