We live in an amazing age. We have amazing technology that allows us to do amazing things. We have amazing athletes who accomplish amazing physical fetes. We have talent shows that feature artists with amazing voices.
If we switch gears into the spiritual realm, it’s grace that is most commonly thought of as being amazing (with good reason). Yet there’s an amazing moment in the life of Christ that recently caught my attention. On the night of His fraudulent trial, Jesus was handed over to Pilate. Christ was only there because the Jews wanted to kill Him, but needed Rome’s backing to do it. Pilate had the authority to grant the Jews’ wish, or to release the Lord. So, Pilate questioned Jesus.
Scripture tells us that Pilate wanted to free Him – IF only Christ would defend Himself. Instead, we’re told:
But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. (Mark 15:5)
In the face of tremendous accusations, Jesus held His tongue. Instead of defending Himself, Christ said nothing. This refusal to vindicate Himself left Pilate “amazed” – a word that meant being “awestruck to the point of speculating on the matter at hand.” Jesus’ self-restraint caused Pilate to consider the bigger issues. “Who was this Man? Why was He acting in this manner?”
Christ’s silence was needed to fulfill His mission, and there may be times when we need to defend ourselves. However, there might be other situations in which it’s best to resist the impulse to be vindicated. Instead we may need to turn the other cheek, to refuse to engage in battle and so on. In doing so, perhaps we can amaze people with our silence – silence that may lead them to consider our Lord.
Have you ever been amazed by someone’s silence? Are you willing to give it a try yourself? –Dave
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