“Jesus died because He loves us.”
The meaning of this statement was taken to a whole new level for me once I understood why Jesus may have wanted His disciples to be armed on the night before He was crucified.
35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Nothing,” they answered.
36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
“That’s enough!” he replied.
I found this passage perplexing since Jesus commanded His disciples to buy swords but then when they said they already had two, Jesus said that would be enough. What was He referring to? Enough for what??
Well I read an article about Dale Martin, who is a professor of religious studies at Yale University (link at the bottom), that may explain it. The article is titled:
Jesus Was Crucified Because Disciples Were Armed, Bible Analysis Suggests
The writer of the article actually tries to prove a different point about how Jesus was trying to be a political leader.
What the writer didn’t mention are verses that would prove this view wrong, that His disciples thought that’s what the Messiah would do all along; free them from Roman rule, but the Bible is clear on all accounts that this was not why Jesus came to earth. Regardless, if Jesus’s disciples having swords did make the crucifixion possible, it is pretty amazing to think about how the events leading up to Jesus’s death actually unfolded.
In Luke, it’s recorded that before Jesus was betrayed, He told His disciples to buy swords. They told Him they had two already and He said that was enough. This seems strange, what good would two swords do all of them? Well according to the article mentioned above, by Roman law, Jesus was crucified because of the swords His disciples were carrying the night He was captured. If that was the case, He actually made sure they had swords so that He would be crucified.
Also, Jesus wanted them to have the two swords to fulfill a prophecy in Isaiah.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12)
So what seems like a strange request by Jesus the night before being betrayed, humiliated, beaten, and crucified was possibly a request to ensure that He would be crucified to fulfill the prophecies about Him and save the lost. What an amazing God we serve!
If you read this article and do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please send us an email (Theologetics3.firstname.lastname@example.org). We would love to tell you more about how to have a personal relationship with Him!
By Clark Campbell