No Angels

Every year on Good Friday I like to read the accounts of Jesus's crucifixion in the gospels.

It makes me refocus my whole day, and if there is any time of year we should be focused on Jesus's sacrifice it is during this day.

One thing that stood out to me this year was how Jesus could have called legions of angels to rescue Him at any time. He said so Himself: "Or do you think I cannot now pray to my Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53)

I'm sure there must have been incredible temptation for Him to do just that. When they were smashing that crown of thorns down on His head and mocking Him. When they were beating him within one stroke of just killing Him right there. When they nailed Him to that cross. When He was hanging on that cross, struggling to breath for hours.

I think from a human standpoint it must have been especially hard not to call angels to His aid when He was hanging on the cross and the people who passed by were saying "If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross." (Matthew 27:40) And the chief priests and scribes stood by saying "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him." (Matthew 27:42)

The thing is, He could have come down off the cross. He could have put them all in their place right there, and how could they help but believe in Him then?

But if He had done that, if He had called those legions of angels, we all would be lost. He didn't come to conquer the nation and rule - He came for one purpose. He came to die. And without his death, His entire purpose on earth would have been meaningless.

And by the spilling of His blood, the Perfect Sacrifice of Himself, our sins were washed away. We are able to know God and we are assured of our eternity in Heaven, all because of what He did on the cross, and because of what happened three days later.

He rose from the dead! He came back to life! Death couldn't hold Him - He conquered death, and He now gives eternal life to anyone who will believe in Him. "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart the God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)

But none of this could have been possible if He had come down off the cross. How ironic that the chief priests said they would believe in Him if He came down from the cross, when if He had done that He couldn't have saved them. I wonder what was going through His mind when they said those words? I think it must have been just a deep compassion and probably a sadness too - they just didn't understand.

He had to die to give us life. Without His death and resurrection, there would be no hope at all. He could have called many angels to get Him out of it, but He chose to endure torture and ridicule and indescribable pain for our sakes.

Aren't you glad that He left the angels where they were that day?

"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

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Rebecca Louise. said...

Wow! Fab words Callie - beautifully written, your faith shines through this :)

katie beth said...

Good thoughtful post Callie. I agree with you about thinking on the cross and the events of Holy Week and those that led up to the Jesus being on the cross and his time on the cross. It really makes Easter that much more poignant and sweet. It really puts life and God's ultimate plan into perspective and I think its so important that we bring this all to the forefront of our minds as Christians.

Brittney Galloway said...

Great post! Thanks Callie...insightful as always !

Kelley said...

Amen sister! Thank you for such a wonderful post! You have a way with words that is a true blessing! Thank you for sharing!

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