He Could Have Called 72,000 Angels Series
Contributed by Davon Huss on Apr 14, 2014 (message contributor)
Summary: A sermon on the arrest of Jesus Christ (Seed thoughts from a Christology class; Outline from James E. Smith's book, The Longest Night in the Bible; So What? from Alan Carr at: http://www.sermonnotebook.org/new%20testament/John%2018_1-14.htm)
Quote from John MacArthur- The reason that Jesus Christ was born was to die. It greatly concerns me today that there are some who are always talking about the fact that Jesus was a wonderful person who through a set of circumstances got Himself into a mess and wound up getting crucified. However, the Word of God clearly tells us that Jesus Christ was never trapped, He was never tricked, He was never surprised, He was never a victim, He went to the cross of His own design, of His own will because He was born for that express purpose.
We find that after Jesus prayed in the garden Jesus was arrested. This was all part of the Passover Plan. Jesus’ composure, courage, and boldness before the mob was a reflection of His own inner peace and authority. Jesus knew who He was and what He was to do.
Each evening of the final week before his death, Jesus took his apostles for a time of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.” Luke 22:39, NIV.
Probably Judas went to the Upper room and found it empty. The next logical place was the Mount of Olives. Judas knew the place because it was special to Jesus. John 18:2
Jesus put himself in a position where he would be arrested. Could have avoided this easily.
Thesis: Let’s talk about the confrontation that lead to Jesus’ arrest from John 18:1-11 and then what this means to us.
John 18:1-11, many more details from other gospels but center thoughts here
Vs. 1-3- It was 2 to 3 am Friday morning. We find here that this mob was led by Judas. Without Judas’s help they could not have found Jesus in the garden. This mob or multitude was made up of Romans soldiers, a temple guard, Pharisees, scribes, servants, chief priests, and elders of the Jews. It was full moon but this mob brought extra lights to search out the dark recesses of the garden. These also came with weapons. The Roman soldiers had swords. The others at least had clubs. Why? They were expecting resistance.
Vs. 4a- Jesus offered himself to the officers. John here mentions the foreknowledge of Jesus to remind us that he could have avoided arrest had he chosen to do so.
Vs. 4b- Jesus brought things to a head with the mob by asking them a question: “Who is it you want?” Jesus asked this question for 3 reasons:
To openly declare his identity 2) To make the Jewish rulers conscious that they were arresting an innocent man 3) To confine the arrest to himself and deliver his disciples
Vs. 5- The leaders of this mob said they wanted Jesus. Jesus responded that he was the man they were looking for. John also notes here that Judas was initially holding back, waiting to see how all of this would go down before he completed the conspiracy.
Vs. 6- Jesus’ confidence struck fear into this mob. This is not necessarily a miracle as some believe it to be. These men had heard of the great miracles attributed to Jesus. He was known as a powerful prophet. No member of the mob wanted to be the first to lay hands on him. For Jesus to so willing to give himself up seemed suspicious. They fell back because of this.
Vs. 7-8 - Jesus challenged crowd again with confidence. Jesus pleads for safety of disciples.
Vs. 9- John notes how the release of Jesus’ men fulfilled prophecy. Read John 17:12, NIV.
Vs. 10- Peter drew a sword. Rash Peter rushed to attack this mob single handedly. Peter had talked much of what he would do for his Master. He would lay down his life for him. In this moment Peter obviously was prepared to do just that. Peter was trying to split Malchus’ skull but for whatever reason Peter only cut off his ear. “But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.” Luke 22:51, NIV. In so doing Christ gave them all proof of his power. He could heal and destroy if he pleased, which should have obligated them to submit to him. One would think that this generous act of kindness would have melted their hearts; but hardened hearts don’t melt so easily.
Vs. 11- Other gospels tell us more of what Jesus said to Peter. WE have already discussed the cup this morning. Not looking at all of this but Need to focus on one comment by Jesus here. ““Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” Matthew 26:52, 53, NIV. Jesus did not have 11 disciples to protect him; he had 12 legions of angels. Under the Roman army, a legion was composed of 6,000 men. 12 legions at full strength consisted of 72,000 men. From the Roman army system, Jesus Christ had 72,000 angels at his beck and call. We often sing of 10,000 angels that Christ could have called but that’s not correct. Learn some things from Matthew 26:53: