We read in Matthew 26:51-53 (also Mark 14:47, Luke 22:50-51, John 18:10-11) that when the angry mob approached Jesus to arrest Him, that Peter draws his sword and cuts off the ear of the servant of the high priest. Jesus rebukes Peter saying [paraphrased]: “Those who live by the sword, die by the sword”, and Jesus then heals the man’s ear, redeeming the actions of His apostle.
And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?”
The commenter John Trapp remarks that a legion is about 6000 foot soldiers with 700 horsemen. In 2 Kings 19:35 we see that an angel of the Lord went to the camp of the Assyrians and killed 185,000 men – that was one angel. Jesus said the LORD would provide him with more than twelve legions (more than 80,400 angels with the total minimum killing-power of 14.874 Billion humans). Suffice it to say, that’s probably not the whole army of God either.
And that’s just one small facet of power that angels of the Lord have, which doesn’t even compare to the power of God Himself. Jesus wasn’t outnumbered, or outclassed, or “surrounded” by the angry mob that wanted to kill Him. Jesus went willingly, and humbly sacrificed Himself for God’s Will alone, to save mankind from ourselves.
Remember in Man of Steel when Supes allows himself to be captured, eventually showing the audience that he can easily break the handcuffs? Jesus was more than that; He wasn’t a superhero by our definitions but a superhero by God’s definition – Jesus was the Savior we needed, not the Savior we deserved (geez my second DC reference and I’m a Marvel guy). Jesus (who was God in human flesh) had an unthinkable amount of power, but He choose to use it to love others instead of hurt or destroy them. He truly lived out the phrase:
With great power comes great responsibility.
So what is it that we deserve but didn’t get in Jesus? Death. Romans 3:23 & 6:23 sum up what the Old and New Testaments have been trying to tell us all along: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” & “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
For our sinfulness and natural tendency to rebel and run away from God, mankind’s sentence is death and it brings with it pain, suffering, and sickness. Not just physical death, but spiritual death, being distant from God in this life and in the afterlife. But we are God’s children (Genesis 1:26-31, Psalm 22:28), and like a Good Father (Mark 10:18, Luke 23:34), He decided to love us and help us anyway (John 3:16-17, Romans 5:8), even though we were the ones who messed up (Genesis 3:6-8, Ecclesiastes 7:20).
So I now propose you to all that instead of “Live by the sword, die by the sword”, that all who profess belief in the Gospel and to follow Him, to instead “Live by the Word, Die by the Word” (that is, the Word of God). It is our sinful tendency to be angry, hate, and even be violent to others since we are naturally hostile to God (Romans 8:7-8), but this is what the Word of the Lord says:
Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Love everyone just as God loves you (this includes your enemies).
(Matthew 22:37-40, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27, John 13:34-35, John 15:12, Matthew 5:38-48, Luke 6:27-36)
<Original work by BenBRockN. Feel free to reblog, ONLY if you give credit to the original author (me). Thanks!>