“Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.”
–Do you find this amazing too? Would He have been justified in giving some very valid reasons why He was not deserving of death? Could He not have called down “ten thousand angels” and laid waste to the whole city? Yet He said nothing. Why? I can see two obvious reasons, and there are likely more. The first is that the Messiah understood fully that He was born to die. That this was the fullness of time, His appointed time. There was no thwarting the divine plan. This was in direct, perfect fulfillment of scripture (though it is likely that no one really saw it in this moment):
“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isa. 53:6
–Secondly, there are simply times when it is fruitless to argue with those blinded by rage, pride, falsehood…by sin. They will not be convinced by anyone other than the Spirit of God Himself, and any attempt at justifying self is wasted breath. A good thing to remember. If the Lord Jesus, who was faultless in every way, offered no explanation to His accusers…is there an example to follow here? How quick we are to explain away, to excuse (because we are not faultless and often our motives are wrong, or we are not dealing rightly with the truth). We don’t like appearing guilty…especially when we are not. But there are those occasions when our adversaries are so enraged, so puffed up with their own sense of entitlement, so full of a false concept of their own “rights”…that it is no use to say anything. Hard as it is, not to come to our own rescue, we must rest in truth. Let God prove us. Allow time to heal and reveal.
“They all said, “Let him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
–Pilate was clearly mystified by this. This same rabble was the one that uttered “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” How quickly they had turned upon Him, like a pack of hyenas. Where was that ardent devotion now?
Now, here’s our food for thought. We all probably have a person or three who are aware of our Christian testimony but they do not have any reverence or appreciation for spiritual things themselves. They have watched our lives from the dark recesses. We may not even be aware of their observation. What, then, is the effect if they should see us deny the Lord? Backpedal on our commitment to Him? Compromise His truth through a word or action?
Let us rather mystify those onlookers, those skeptics and critics, by how the grace of God carries us through the inexplicable.
May we have a deep relationship that sustains us in the depths, and may our silence truly be golden.