But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Note 3 at Mt 26:54: In other instances, Jesus used His superior power and authority to escape being taken (Lu 4:29-30; Joh 7:44-46, 8:20, 59, and 10:39; see note 8 at Joh 7:30). Yet here He refused to draw on supernatural or natural means of deliverance. The only explanation that can be given for this is the one that Jesus gave Himself: He was fulfilling Scripture by yielding to His persecutors.
Supernatural protection is promised in Scripture (De 31:6, 8; Ps 4:8, Ps 91; Pr 3:21-25; and Isa 43:2). Yet there are times, just like this instance with Jesus, when God would want it to be otherwise. If the Lord had struck all of Stephen's assailants dead, then there never would have been an Apostle Paul (Ac 7:58 and 13:9). There are other examples of when people did not accept God's supernatural deliverance because they wanted the greater reward that awaits those who have been martyred for their faith (Heb 11:35, see notes 2-3 at Lu 21:18-19).