A Good Friday Devotional
“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.” (Mark 15:4-5)
It was early in the morning on a Friday. The previous evening Jesus had shared a meal with his disciples in the Upper Room. From there they proceeded to Gethsemane where Jesus was arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. False witnesses testified against him, but their statements did not agree.
Finally the high priest asked Jesus if he was the Messiah. Jesus responded, “I am.” At this the high priest tore his clothes. He accused Jesus of blasphemy, and the people condemned him as worthy of death. They spit at him, blindfolded him, and struck him with their fists. The guards took him away and beat him.
Now in the early morning hours Jesus stood before Pilate. The accusations came fast and furious, yet Jesus made no response. Jesus, the Word of God who spoke all of creation into being, stood silent before his accusers. And although Pilate found no basis to condemn Christ, in order to satisfy the crowd he handed Jesus over to be crucified.
Why didn’t Jesus speak up? Why didn’t he defend himself? Jesus remained silent in fulfillment of the Scriptures and out of love for you and for me. Isaiah 53:7 says, “He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” 1 Peter 2:23 says, “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”
Have you encountered situations where you felt the need to defend yourself against others? Ecclesiastes 3:7 says, “There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Sometimes it is the right choice to speak. But there are other times when we would do better to remain silent. We must seek God’s wisdom and prayerfully consider our words before we speak. And we will always do well to remember the Silent Lamb who remained silent before his accusers and entrusted himself to God who judges justly.