2000-02-28 - He Made No Answer
The Prophecies Fulfilled Series, Part 3
Isaiah 53:7, "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth."
Mark 15:4, "And Pilate was questioning Him again, saying, "Do you make no answer? See how many charges they bring against You!" But Jesus made no further answer; so that Pilate was amazed."
As we look at a third prophecy found in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah, we again see the fulfillment of it in Christ. Christ was wronged. He was oppressed, and yet kept his mouth shut.
How many of us can bite our tongue under oppression? Most of us are quick to vindicate ourselves when our name has been tarnished or when we think we have been wronged. Almost everyone of us seeks to clear their name and make sure that the record is set straight.
In one sense there is nothing wrong with this. We ought not to allow a false perception of ourselves to remain. But it is our motives in justifying our cause that are often out of line. When we are wrongly accused or labeled, it is often our pride that is insulted. It is often our dignity that has been ridiculed. And it is precisely because our self-esteem has been run through the gutter that we feel we have a right to justify ourselves.
The focus in such vindication is our honor, our worth. The focus is upon self. It is interesting that this is not the example of Christ. He did not open His mouth. He was wronged. He was oppressed. He did not open His mouth.
Ecclesiastes 4:1 says that on the side of the oppressors there is power and that the oppressed have no comforter. Consider Christ, without comfort, perfectly innocent, undeserving of the treatment He was undergoing, and He did not open His mouth.
1 Peter 2:22 says of Christ, "He had no sin, neither was any guile found in His mouth." Here is the great difference between Christ and us under suffering and oppression. We are prone to clear our name, Christ was content that His name was clean. His conduct under His sufferings was as if He was not suffering at all. We can learn much from the example of Christ here.
Christ didn't plead that He was unjustly accused or innocent. He submitted and He did that voluntarily. He was like a lamb being led to the slaughter, or a sheep silent before the shearers. In His suffering there was meekness and a resolve to see it through.
So we have the fulfillment of the prophecy and an application to ourselves about how we ought to conduct ourselves under oppression. Let us strive and seek to be Christ-like even in the difficult times.
"Oh! How sweet a cross it is to see a cross betwixt Christ and us; to hear our Redeemer say, at every sigh, and every blow, and every loss of a believer, "Half Mine!"" Samuel Rutherford
Soli Deo Gloria,