Silent before His Accusers

“He was oppressed and afflicted and yet did not open his mouth; 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.” Isaiah 53:7 (NIV)

Jesus, the man, must have felt as if he were backed into a corner by the religious authorities. The religious leaders tossed Him back and forth between them. Our Master didn’t say anything in His defense. I believe God chose this path for His Son. The Father controlled the happening, the people and the contributing events in this. What could Jesus say in His defense? Had He said anything, would the religious leaders have done anything differently? Would they have jeered and mocked our Lord any more if He had spoken? By not speaking in His own behalf He complied with His Father’s will.

Are there times we should be silent before our accusers, like Jesus was? I had a time when that was what I had to endure. I was confronted with something I hadn’t expected and then had to hear other ‘bad’ things about me. I had always said, if the situation arose, I would let the person know my feelings about the situation. Well, when the time came. I could barely open my mouth.

I now believe God didn’t want me to be in that place any longer. He kept me from saying things that might have been true but those people were not able to understand what I would have said.

Jesus doesn’t let us down when we are faced with taunts and jeers from those around us. He shows us how to handle ourselves when we are backed into a corner by issues of life. We need to be more in tune with Him and let Him lead.

For My Transgressions

“By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was

cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people he was stricken.” Isaiah 53:8 (NIV)

The religious leaders stirred up the crowds using trumped up charges, of all things. Jesus went to the cross because we are so sinful. He died a horrific death so those sins we commit will not count against us.

In the Old Testament, only the appointed priest could go into the Holy of Holies to take the sins of the people and give them to God. This passage into the presence of God only happened once a year. Can we picture this, one priest, chosen by drawing lots, going into God’s presence carrying the sins of all the people of the Hebrew nation? No one else could go into this most sacred area. The other priests tied a rope onto the chosen one’s ankle so they could pull him out of there, if he was in there too long and God had dealt with him.

Now, imagine with me how difficult this was. One man, a human, at that, carried his own sins, those of his family, his friends, and his neighbors, even people he passed on the street and those of the government, on his shoulders. He entered the Holy of Holies as best he could. He gave the sins to God, who received them from him. How would a priest feel as he exited the area? Could we describe what a priest felt as freedom?

Recently, I sat in church with a lady who has been sharing a devotional magazine with me. She tapped me on the arm and asked me if I had seen the movie, The Passion ofThe Christ. I told her I had. She hadn’t at that time. She wasn’t sure she could see it when it was at our local theaters. I encouraged her to see it. Our church’s singles group was going to watch it on video. They invited anyone who wanted to, to see it with them. As I later reflected on that movie, I remembered that it impressed in me that my sins put Jesus Christ on that cross.

He Had No Deceit

“He was assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.” Isaiah 53:9 (NIV)

Our Lord didn’t have a special grave; it was a cave in a garden. Someone donated a grave that belonged to a man, rich by the standards of the Hebrew people. Jesus hadn’t done anything wrong. And he never told a lie.

I had a phone conversation with a relative by marriage one day. She told me something her mother had told her when she was growing up. “There are three kinds of lies. Little white lies, acceptable in society, they don’t hurt anyone. Gray lies, stronger in intent, might hurt someone. Black lies, the worst kind, hurt a lot of people.”

I don’t agree with this way of thinking. I believe a lie is a lie and a follower of Christ should never have to resort to lying in order to get his or her way or to get ahead. He should be our example as we travel through our lives, conduct business, and, establish relationships with others. People should see Jesus Christ in us as we go through this world.