He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7 (NIV)
Imagine the scene. Jesus enters Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. Palm fronds and clothing litter His path. The multitudes press in, hoping for a glimpse of the one who would deliver them from Roman oppression. Today we know that this was not His intent, but He did not correct them. Shouts of “hosanna—God save us,” rose.
What was He thinking? Maybe it was that He would save them—not in the way they expected—but He said nothing. In mere hours their voices would demand His death.
Later, Jesus stands before the governor, mute once again as priests and elders hurl accusations. Pilate, incredulous at Jesus’ calm, asks, “Don’t you hear these charges? Have you no answer?” His response came in overwhelming silence.
What if He had spoken up? What if He had called on His Father for protection, or on the multitude of angels who stood by, ready to deliver Him from harm? What if he had spoken, saving Himself, but dooming us to a Godless eternity?
Praise God for the silence of the Lamb. How powerful, His voiceless defense. It spoke for us when we couldn’t speak for ourselves. It held fast through mockery, farcical trials, flogging, thorns, and crucifixion. It endured as His Father turned His back on Him. In the end, His silence gave way to a victory shout as He cried with dying breath, “It is finished!”
Father, teach us the power of silence and the wisdom of measuring our words. Help both to point others to you.
© 2012 Katherine A. Fuller