Calling Up the Reserves

Canadian Armed Forces Reserves—Google Images
We don’t tend to hold much in reserve. If we have it we spend it, use it, give it away, or protect it so that it isn’t useful to anyone! If forced, we might consider sacrificing a little of what we have held back to ease the stress of the moment.

I would think that facing everything He knew about the cross would have tempted Jesus to let loose the heavenly reserves.

“‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him [Peter], ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you not 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)

The crowd had gathered to arrest Jesus. One of the disciples (identified in John 18:10 as Peter) was wearing a sword. He drew it and cut off the ear of one of the servants of the high priest. Gut instinct. That Peter was carrying a sword in the first place was odd. A fisherman carrying a sword? The disciple of an itinerant teacher, a man dedicated to peace, carrying a sword? Jesus had talked a lot about his death so perhaps Peter had armed himself because he truly wanted to defend his Lord should the worst happen.

However, that was not Jesus’ way. And one measly little sword wasn’t going to cut it (pardon the pun)! Nor was it necessary. If Jesus had needed, or wanted, rescuing, there were all those angels just waiting to come and sweep away His enemies. Jesus could have easily called up the reserves.

But He didn’t.

But, boy, would I have been tempted! The fact that I would have been tempted to call on the angels to defend me reminds me that I haven’t reached Jesus’ level of compassion for people that committed Him to the cross. It reminds me that I’m not nearly as committed to doing what brings God glory as Jesus was. It also tells me that my dedication to carrying out the will of God is not as strong as the Lord’s was. All that reminds me that I still have a way to go in modelling Him as I should.

Those angels would have shot down from heaven in a nanosecond if Jesus had asked. They would have happily dispatched the crowd. They wouldn’t even have broken a sweat doing it (though I doubt that angels sweat). The reserves were there, but their use would not have served the divine purpose or brought God any glory.

And to those two things Jesus was totally committed—as we should be.

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