Scripture Reading: Mark 15:1-47, Isaiah 52:13-15; Isaiah 53:1-7
The route to a place you’ve never been is always longest the first time. Christ’s journey to the cross was a first. For the Creator of the universe, death was the one place He hadn’t been. The Bible gives us a slowed-down account of His last few hours, allowing us to watch how God acts as He walks toward death.
Jesus spoke very few recorded words in the hours leading to His crucifixion. His silences stand in contrast to the clamouring of the crowds, the indictments of the priests, and shouts of His accusers. In the face of unjust denunciations and undeserved mockery, wouldn’t an ordinary person rise to their own defense and use reason and truth to set the record straight? Isn’t history filled with stories of men and women who stood to give articulate, impassioned defenses for themselves? Isn’t a clear defense the only way to save yourself?
Then why did Jesus stay so silent the day He was crucified? Jesus’ responses on Good Friday are so shocking. He doesn’t defend Himself. The mockers even jeered at Him, saying, “‘He saved others, but he cannot save himself! He is the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him’” (Matthew 27:42).
Indeed, as they led Him out to the cross, He went meekly, like a lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7). They falsely accused Him, and yet He uttered not a word. It is funny how we so easily confuse the signs of weakness and the signs of strength.
Gentleness and meekness confuse us, because our hearts are naturally driven to clamor and strive, making a lot of noise in the process. We are stupid and boisterous by nature, making much of all the wrong things, slow to lovingkindness, and abounding in anger. Maybe in the end, what we don’t understand is the humility of obedience—obedience even to the point of death. Instead, we are intent upon asserting ourselves at all costs. The last thing we want is for anyone to step on our selfish toes. And so obedience, totally selfless obedience, is confounding to us. It looks like weakness, like foolishness, and our hearts mock it.
We are, left to ourselves, everything we should not be. He is, even as all the world railed against Him, even as He walked straight into death for the first and final time, all that we need.
But he was pierced because of our transgressions,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on him,
and we are healed by his wounds.