On that dark night, Peter, one of Jesus’ disciple acted impetuously but sincerely when he wielded a sword and hacked off the ear of the slave of Israel’s high priest, Malchus. (Matt. 26:51, John 18:10). Peter attempted to defend his Lord from the armed mob that came to arrest Him, however such protection was not needed by Jesus. After miraculously restoring the man’s severed ear (Luke 22:51), Jesus said to Peter: “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:52—emphasis added). This is a fascinating declaration by the Lord Jesus Christ and one worth investigating further.
In the time of Christ, a legion of Roman military was made up of 6,000 soldiers. And yet, Jesus could have beckoned for more than twelve legions of angels to come instantly to His aid. This would mean 72,000 warrior angels! It is recorded in Scripture that a single Angel protected Israel by slaying 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night (2 Kin. 19:35). So, multiplying 185,000 [men] x 72,000 [angels] equals 13,320,000,000. Amazingly, if Jesus so desired, He could have had His angels slay more than 13,320,000,000 men! This astronomical figure is nearly two times today’s world population. Therefore, if Jesus chose to resist arrest and fight the Roman soldiers and the raucous throng that came for Him, it undoubtedly would have been ridiculously easy for Him to overcome: “Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.” (Isa. 40:15). Instead, Jesus went with them silently and without the slightest struggle; “He opened not His mouth.” (Isa. 53:7, cf. 1 Pet. 2:23). O how fortunate it was that “the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?” (Matt. 26:54). That the Son of God remained obedient to His Father’s will regardless of the circumstance: “…Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself…I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (Jn. 5:19a, 30b). And what was the Father’s will? Answer: for His Son to remain humble, obedient, silent, and suffer a horrendous death on the cross for undeserving sinners. In other words, Jesus willingly received the cup of His Father’s wrath as propitiation for the sins of all believing mankind. All things leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, and the crucifixion itself, occurred exactly as God preordained it:
The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur. (Acts 4:26-28).
In conclusion, Jesus’ silence was strict obedience to the will of the Father. He went with evil men which would eventually lead to His execution (Jn. 18:1-13): “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.” (Isa. 53:7). O how blessed Christians are that Jesus remained obedient to the love of His Father willingly gave His life as payment for sinners who believe in Him. (Matt. 20:28, cf. Jn. 10:17-18): “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Rom. 5:8-9).