Stand Back Now, Let It Happen
by Wayne Blank
Angels are very powerful spirit beings. Any one of them could have wiped out an entire army (e.g. 2 Kings 19:35), and yet that day they had to just stand and watch the horrendous brutality being inflicted on the Son of God by those Roman troops.
We know that angels can experience emotion (e.g. Job 38:7), so it's not too hard to imagine that they stood there in great dismay, perhaps with tears of grief and fury streaming down their faces, knowing that they could so easily have stopped it, as they watched this:
Before The Council
"But Jesus was silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."
"Then the high priest tore his robes, and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard His blasphemy. What is your judgment?" They answered, "He deserves death."
"Then they spat in His face, and struck Him; and some slapped Him, saying, "Prophesy to us, You Christ! Who is it that struck You?" (Matthew 26:63-68 RSV)
Crucified By The Romans
"Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium, and they gathered the whole battalion before Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe upon Him, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on His head, and put a reed in His right hand. And kneeling before Him they mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they spat upon Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the robe, and put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him."
"As they went out, they came upon a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; this man they compelled to carry His cross [see Crosses]. And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means the place of a skull [shown in the photograph above], they offered Him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when He tasted it, He would not drink it."
"And when they had crucified Him, they divided His garments among them by casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over Him there. And over His head they put the charge against Him, which read, "This is Jesus the King of the Jews." Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided Him, wagging their heads and saying, "You who would destroy the Temple [see Temples] and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross."
"So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked Him, saying, "He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He trusts in God; let God deliver Him now, if He desires Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.'" And the robbers who were crucified with Him also reviled Him in the same way."
"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, la'ma sabach-tha'ni?" that is, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
"And some of the bystanders hearing it said, "This man is calling Elijah."
"And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to Him to drink. But the others said, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him."
"And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit." (Matthew 27:27-50 RSV)
Fact Finder: What did Jesus actually die from?