“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).
In I Chronicles 27:1–15, David assembled twelve “courses” (i.e., legions) of fighting men to protect him at all times. Each of those “legions” would serve him one month out of the year when the nation was at peace, but presumably all would have reported for duty in time of war. Since each contained 24,000 warriors, they combined to form an immense personal army of bodyguards numbering 288,000.
By contrast, Christ, David’s greater Son, had at His command “more than twelve legions of angels.” These were not mere soldiers, as those guarding David; these were angels. Let us consider the power of just one angel in the days of King Hezekiah. “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses” (II Kings 19:35). Simple multiplications shows that 288,000 such angels could handle 53 billion soldiers! And Christ had access to more angels than that!
Humanly speaking, Christ did not have to submit to brutality and death. But Christ was not only human; He was also the offended but loving God who had come to redeem His own. “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8) had “come to do thy will, O God. . . . By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:9,10). “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). “All this was done, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled” (Matthew 26:56). JDM