In ancient biblical times, when a king went to war, his highest definition of victory was that his enemies die brutally whether in the intensity of battle or in surrender to his superior forces. But Christ went to battle with a different strategy. He attained victory in the opposite way, by instead laying down His life in surrender to His enemies. This was not to be assumed that He commanded an inferior army to any possible threat that would arise against Him. His surrender was not one of weakness. He made it clear that, “No one takes it (His life) from Me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:18).
Even during His arrest, Christ confirmed the capacity of the military potential at His disposal. He retorted, “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 was composed of 6,000 soldiers hence for 12 legions Christ was referring to more than 72,000 angels. It is interesting to ponder the might of such an army considering that in 2Kings 19:35, a single angel killed more than 185,000 men in a single night. Christ was simply pointing out that He was the ‘Lord of Hosts’ (the familiar Old Testament title that refers to Christ as the commander-in-chief of the heavenly army of angels) who could never lose a battle of any nature! His supernatural artillery was simply beyond human comprehension.
On the other hand, in very pale and sharply contrasting comparison, Judas, His disciple who eventually betrayed Him, had “received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, [and] came there [where Jesus was] with their lanterns and torches and weapons” (John 18:3). A Roman cohort normally comprised only about 600 troops, and in this case, mere men (with lanterns, torches and manmade weapons), unlike Christ who had multitudes of angels with unmatched supernatural ability at His ready command.
Yet Christ surrendered to the cohort, because in His words, “How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?” (Matthew 26:54). But more than fulfillment of the Scriptures, this was one of the greatest displays of Christ’s extraordinary humility and submission; that the all-powerful willingly stooped low and surrendered to the all-powerless. He surrendered because according to His words, “This charge I received from the Father” (John 10:18). His surrender was influenced by His submission to GOD the Father’s will.
Ironically, it is through surrender and not attack that Christ achieved the greatest ever victory for mankind that no man before or after him, wielding any or all forms of power known to man, ever could - eternal life through salvation by faith in Him alone. Beyond the irony, what a glorious moment it will be when He finally returns for those who believe in Him according to His promise that, “The Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him” (Matthew 25:31). With this assurance, we anxiously await the Second Coming of our eternal and victorious Commander-in-Chief, with His heavenly army marching behind Him.