Monday, 17 April 2017

Twelve legions of angels

So this is a little late for Easter, but I was reading Matthew's account of the betrayal and arrest of Jesus. And I got to Matthew 26:53, when Jesus says, in response to Peter pulling out a sword to defend Him, "Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?" 

Various sources place Roman legions in this era at 5,200-6000 men. Twelve legions, then, would be close to 72,000 - and these are angels, not men. If we check the Bible (Old and New Testaments), one or two angels were enough to make people tremble in fear and awe (thinking of Daniel's visions, I reckon angels must be terrifying in their full presence.)

And then I imagined heaven, and thousands upon thousands of angels kneeling before the throne, saying, "Lord God Almighty, send me."

They couldn't see the future; only God can. I don't know if they were aware of God's full plan. But if they didn't know -

Thousands upon thousands of angels saying, "Send me.
Thousands upon thousands of angels burning in indignation as their Prince silently endures the shame of multitudes even though He's the Son of God and Messiah of these people.
Thousands upon thousands of angel hearts breaking at His unjust and cruel, cruel death.
Thousands upon thousands of angels worshiping God as they realise His plan and His wisdom.
Thousands upon thousands of angels adoring Christ their Prince when He returns to glory triumphant over death.

I don't know. This likely isn't how it happened. We aren't told a great deal about angels, and they might well be able to see God's plan a bit better than us - and God did foretell Jesus' death in the Scriptures, and Jesus did say that He had to die, so maybe they would have understood. But my storyteller heart seized the thought of all those angels, up in heaven, hearts breaking because Jesus wouldn't call them and they couldn't. see. why.

I don't know?

and I tried to write this in a story but I couldn't because I didn't want to put words in God's mouth
and I'm only tiny and struggling and I can't see very far
and God is so huge and amazing I can't even comprehend how much
and I couldn't write a story about God


  1. Wow. This is awesome. I love the last part of this.

    1. Aw, thank you, Gray! I really wanted to write the story - I had my Bible out and I was flicking between gospels, and referring to Michael in Daniel and Gabriel in early Luke - but there was just too much I'd have to make up, which I wasn't comfortable with. So I thought I'd share the mental picture I had, instead. I'm glad you liked it!

  2. Wow. This was a beautiful post, Jem! Of course, like you said, we don't really know how it was, but these were some profound thoughts all the same. Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. ('Profound'? wow... I'm flattered! :D) Thanks for reading, Miss March! :)


Comment away! I read all comments - no matter how old the post may be! - and I'll try to reply. Just keep your words appropriate so I won't have to delete your comment (I'd hate to have to do that).