When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the night He was betrayed, He said, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” Matthew 26:53.
A Roman Legion at the time of Jesus was 6,000 soldiers and they were very well trained men. Therefore twelve legions of angels would have been 72,000 angels. And we don’t have any idea more legions He could have called. But Jesus said the Father would give Him more than twelve legions of angels; therefore, you can conclude that there were potentially many additional thousands of angels available to Jesus the night He was arrested!
What would be the combined strength in this number of angels? Angels are powerful! In fact, Isaiah records that a single angel obliterated 185,000 men in one night. So if a single angel had that kind of power, how much combined strength would there be in twelve legions of angels? “And the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.” Isaiah 37:36
Since a single angel was able to obliterate 185,000 men in one night, it would mean the combined strength in a legion of 6,000 angels would be enough to destroy 1,110,000,000 men (that is, one billion, one hundred ten million men) — and that’s just the combined power in one legion of angels!
Now let’s multiply this same number 185,000 by twelve legions, or at least 72,000 angels. Doing the math tells me that the strength at Jesus’ disposal to have annihilated at least 13,320,000,000 men (that is, thirteen billion, three hundred twenty million men) — which is more than twice the number of people living on earth!
Jesus didn’t need Peter’s sword to defend Him in Gethsemane. Had He chosen to do so, Jesus could have summoned 72,000 magnificent, mighty, dazzling, glorious, overwhelmingly powerful angels to the Garden of Gethsemane to obliterate the Roman soldiers and the temple police who had come to arrest Him. In fact, the combined strength in twelve legions of angels could have wiped out the entire human race! But Jesus didn’t call on the supernatural help that was available to Him, because He knew it was time for Him to voluntarily lay down His life for the sin of the human race.
It is certainly obvious that there was no human force on earth strong enough to take Jesus against His will. The only way He was going to be taken was if He allowed Himself to be taken! This is why He later told Pilate, “Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” (John 19:11).