Isaiah 53:7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
Have you ever been accused of doing something you didn’t do? Have you ever experienced such an injustice? How did you react? How did it make you feel?… Have you ever found out that others were believing the lies and reports that had been wrongly made about you? Didn’t it make you want to rise up and come to your own defense? Wouldn’t that be a normal reaction? We would want to clear our name! Right?
Well, in the accounts of Jesus’ trial before the chief priests and elders or Herod or Pilate, we read that when accusations were brought against him, he didn’t answer or defend himself. Instead, we read again and again, that Jesus gave no response at all. Matthew 27:14 says “But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge – to the great amazement of the governor.” and again in Mark 15: 3 – 5 “The chief priests accused him of many things. So, again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.”
Jesus’ silence while facing his accusers astonished and perplexed Pilate! This was probably the first criminal to stand before him that didn’t attempt to escape the inevitable punishment awaiting him. Here stood before him a man, not deserving of death, and yet he would not cry out and defend himself.
I’ve often pondered over this truth about our Lord on the day of his trial…..if only for a few minutes He had opened His mouth, He could have refuted their weak and meager accusations! Just a few words from His mouth; the same mouth that preached to the thousands and drew crowds upon crowds through His powerful and authoritative teaching. Every living word from His mouth had ministered to the poor and needy, fed the hungry soul, lifted the weary, brought joy to the listener and above all, perhaps; stamped out the traps and snares laid out by his enemies in their numerous attempts to bring him down. Just one word from this mouth……
But, on this day, the Word of God was silent.
Jesus could not speak! He could not save himself, because He was saving us! On this day, the accusations, that should have rightfully been made against us, fell on Him. And, the punishment and blame that should have been ours, were placed on Him; the righteous for the unrighteous; the innocent for the guilty. The Holy Son of God stood in our place.
May we devote ourselves anew to the One whose love for us reaches heights so unimaginable, and may we grow more to become like HIM in His love, obedience and patient endurance. Amen