Summary: As we stand at the foot of the cross it is easy to demand of God how could you allow this happen, why don’t you do something?
How many times have we asked ourselves the same question that Jesus asked as he hung dying on the cross? “God why don’t you do something?” Surely if we had of been standing by watching as this man of peaces, as the Son of God was humiliated in a sham of a trial, as he was scourged and beaten in front of a jeering crowd, as slowly the soldiers of Caesar stripped away the last remaining pieces of his human dignity. Surely we would have asked ourselves and those who stood nearby, “Why doesn’t God do something? How can God let this happen?”
And as they took this battered and bleeding Nazarene Carpenter and laid him against the roughly hewn cross, drove home those great dull spikes through his hands and feet and then stood the cross upright with the son of God suspended on it like a broken discarded marionette and dropped it into the hole prepared, jarring all of his body weight down unto those bleeding wounds in his hands.
Surely as we watched this travesty of justice, surely the rage welling up inside would compel us to demand of the Almighty, “God why don’t you do something, don’t just let him die like some common criminal.”
Surely that question must have been on the lips of John, Mary, Martha and others who loved Jesus as they stood and watched, repulsed by what was happening. I’m sure feelings that many of you who watched the Passion on Friday night experienced. Totally helpless, unable to do anything for the one who had done so much for them.
We don’t ask in unbelief, instead it is as believers that we find our voice and demand “How? How could You allow your Son to die in such a horrible way?” It is only because we have so much faith in the power and justice of God that we find it so remarkable and difficult to believe that he chose to not to exercise that power.
The first thing we need to note is that God Could Have Done Something. Christ acknowledged that when they came to arrest him in the garden. The group that the High Priest sent to arrest Jesus was more like a lynch mob then a posse. You can just imagine the group standing in the flickering, smoky light of the oil torches. Unveiled hostility showing on their faces as they reach to seize the one who had displeased their masters.
And when the crowd attempted to grab Christ, Peter the brave, Peter the impulsive, Peter the insane drew a single sword and took a swipe and cut off the ear of one of the High Priest’s servants. Now all I can say is that it was lucky for the servant that Peter was a fisherman and not a swordsman, because I don’t think for a minute that Peter wanted to separate the guys ear from his head as much as he wanted to separate his head from his shoulders. You can almost hear Peter now, “I’ll hold them off boss you make a run for it.”
But Pete had misread the situation. He thought that Christ was helpless when that was far from the truth. Jesus set the record straight in Matthew 26:53 Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly?
In the New International Version it gets a little more specific. Matthew 26:53 Do you not think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more then twelve legions of angels?” Now what Jesus was saying was “Peter if I wanted I could have a legion of angels, and you could have a legion of angels and John could have a legion of angels and Thaddeus could have a legion of angels and the other eight guys could have a legion of angels each to command.
And we’re not talking those cute little sissy angels people seem to be worshiping today. No we are talking big mean angels with attitude, who could level the entire city of Jerusalem with no problem at all.
When we think of a legion we think of a place where old soldiers go to play darts, but this was a different type of legion. The legion that is spoken of here was the largest single unit in the Roman army and was comprised of six thousand men. Now I would suspect that seventy two thousand angels with a hate on could have done a pile of damage, even Christ conceded that.
On Calvary when you heard them taunting Jesus wouldn’t you have prayed with all your might, “Yes God, bring him down, teach them a lesson God, please God, don’t let him die like this. Send the angels and mop the floor with this bunch.”