The Silence of Jesus

Read: Mark 15:1-5

And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make?” . . . But Jesus made no further answer. (vv. 4-5)

As we begin chapter 15 of Mark, we see that the religious leaders have led Jesus to be tried before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. Although they wanted Jesus dead, they had no power to carry out the death sentence. For that, they needed the Roman authorities.

Realizing that Pilate would not be interested in executing someone over a religious dispute, the religious leaders portrayed Jesus as a revolutionary who stirred up the people, “misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king” (Luke 23:2). Pilate most likely realized that this was a lie but dutifully interrogated Jesus with a number of questions.

The most striking thing about this whole scene is the silence of Jesus. Isaiah had prophesied about a suffering servant who would be oppressed and 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” (Isaiah 53:7).

Silence, because there was nothing left to say. The gulf between Jesus and the hate-filled religious leaders could not be bridged. And Pilate was not really interested in justice and fairness. There is a sense of tragedy in this silence. What a terrible thing when a human heart is such that even Jesus knows it is hopeless to speak. May that never happen to us. —John Koedyker

As you pray, thank Jesus for not being silent to you.

About the Author

Rev. John Koedyker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in America for more than forty years. His ministry began in Japan where he served as a missionary for ten years. After that he has served churches in Iowa and Michigan. He has served as the Stated Clerk of Muskegon Classis, RCA, for the past sixteen years and also presently serves as pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan. John has written a number of times previously for Words of Hope and he has a bi-monthly religion column in the Grand Haven Tribune. He is married to Marilyn, and they have four grown children and seven grandchildren.

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