It’s hard to stay silent, isn’t it? We get the urge to cough, shuffle in our seats or sniff a bit at least when a hush descends. It is said that silence speaks volumes. At least it does if we’re actively aware and listening to what it has to say to us, such as during contemplative prayer.
Witnessing dawn or sunset is like seeing earth holding her breath in wonder, as we hold ours in silent reverence and awe. The stillness and silence are markers of marvelling at creation’s beauty.
But could we remain silent when we’re attacked verbally and/or physically by others? Not likely. Because our stoicism and ability to withstand emotional or physical pain will only stretch so far.
In this era of asserting our rights and taking offence at the slightest suggestion of an infringement to our liberty to think and act as we want to, it’s a wondrous thing indeed to consider someone who is not hotly defending themselves but remaining silent under enormously unjust accusation and extreme physical torment.
Yet that’s exactly what Jesus did when arrested, spat on, verbally and physically assaulted by those who sought to demean, revile, deride and later crucify Him. He let His actions speak for themselves: His humility. His servanthood. His glorious surrender and willing obedience. His choice to die for us as the sacrificial Lamb of God.
“He answered nothing.” – Mark 15: 3 (KJV)
“He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he never said a word. He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he stood silent before the ones condemning him.” ~ Isaiah 53:7 Living Bible (TLB)
slayed and flayed by words and whip
you’re holy silent
you are innocent
fiery with rage and hunger
you want to assuage
they’re watching you die
skies darken and curtain tears
heaven weeps a while
earth moves, shakes and quakes
lightning strikes with bolts of love
rained from God above
into the awed, hushed now crowd
is it over now?
Now in the silent chasm and calm of death, we wait. It isn’t over yet. We have an empty tomb on the other side of sorrow, weeping and gloom. We have hope beyond Good Friday’s horrific ending.
Jesus was silent. He took the fall for us. He thought of us above all. He knew there would be wonderful repercussions from His actions. It was the whole purpose of Him coming to earth. His Mother, Mary, silently pondered all these things in her heart, right from the start.
Now He rests and so do we, on the other side of the Cross as we are, knowing the final outcome and the exuberant holy joy to come. Because we cannot be silent once our eyes and heart have been broken open by God’s amazing Love. We can only rejoice with holy awe and joy flooding our hearts!
PS: The Bible Society has a contemporary poetic video about Jesus on the road to Emmaus. You can download the video here. There’s also a booklet suitable for children age 4-7 that UK readers can purchase from them.
I am left in awe at the beauty of our Lord that is pictured here in your words today. Having to look up the meaning of that word “vituperative,” I was floored when I thought of the concept of verbal & emotional abuse, and the toll it has taken on a vast measure of our society, but Jesus bore even that for us! What a blessed Savior we have! His Glory is beyond our comprehending. And yet, He is here now for us, as your prayer so beautifully brought home. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely voice here, bringing such comfort to me today! This is just the encouragement and inspiration that I have needed on this weary morning my friend. May you be filled with Blessings this Easter Season. Love and Hugs! xoxo
Dear Bettie, vituperative may have a horrible meaning but it’s apt for describing the abusive treatment that Jesus received. Oh, if we could even grasp an inkling of what He, as perfect, unsullied God, suffered on our behalf, we would be floored beyond words. To have such harsh physical torment wrought upon His physical frame, carry the full weight of this world’s sin via the piercing pummelling of hammered-home nails and agonising emotional pain of being separated from HIS beloved Father – well, even just trying to describe some of it leaves me gasping and floundering. What a cost! And what a wonderful Saviour we have! I’m so glad to have blessed you, my friend. I am praying for your weariness to be short-lived. May God infuse you with fresh energy and strength in the days ahead and provide all the soul solace and encouragement you need. Have a blessed Easter weekend! Love and hugs to you too! xoxo 💜
Oh, Joy, as I was reading your post and thinking about the awe I feel at a sunset or sunrise, and then on to be reminded of how silent Jesus was before his accusers, then your glorious poem and to top it off you reading the prayer, I felt so blessed. Oh, and I love your voice! Thanks so much for sharing so much with us today. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear sister/poet/friend! xoxo
Dear Gayl, how lovely to hear you’ve been blessed here, my friend! I feel that way whenever you drop by and leave a sweet comment. It’s good to know the poem and prayer spoke to you. I actually love an American accent and don’t see anything lovely in my own voice, so it’s a nice surprise to hear that you do! 😊 Maybe it’s more about the immediacy of hearing someone speak and discovering they sound different than we had imagined! I’m glad the recording was well received and appreciated. Thank you so much for letting me know and for being here. Blessings, love and hugs! xoxo 💜
What a special gift to get to hear your voice as you say your prayer. I am receiving your words and joining you in prayer for all this Easter.
My brothers and I played a game growing up to see who could stay quietest the longest. I’m sure my parents invented this game. Most of the time one of us would start giggling and it was all over. How Jesus was able to remain silent as he was being taunted, I’ll never know. The best thing is knowing it’s okay not to be silent but share the Easter joy with all. Thank you for your beautiful words. Happy Easter!
Thank you, Mary! It’s an honour to have you joining me in prayer. Your description of the game you and your brothers used to play made me smile. It does sound like one that weary parents might dream up! Yet it’s so hard to remain silent, isn’t it? I remember times when my twin sister and I had had a heated difference and our father sat us separately on tall chairs facing one another as we cooled off. Before long, as we kicked our heels in the air, afraid to scramble down until he said so, we would be in fits of giggles and soon returned to being friends again! Jesus demonstrates remarkable restraint in not responding to abusive taunts and insults. It fills me with awe. Happy Easter to you, dear friend! May it be a time of thoughtful pondering mingled with great rejoicing. Blessings and love. xo ❤
It’s so beyond our understanding that Jesus suffered such abuse for us, isn’t it? And to think He was silent under it all, too! I hope I may become more like Him in that way, too, to be less defensive when I’m treated wrongly or falsely accused of something. Sometimes God whispers, “Leave it alone… Pray more, and say less.” Have a joyous Easter rejoicing in our Risen Redeemer who has gained the victory for us! Love and hugs to you, Joy!
Oh, me, too, Trudy! Just this afternoon I answered my husband rather sharply because he caught me at a bad moment. I know impatience sits close to the surface some days, especially when I feel overtired or stressed. It’s so hard for us to not want to defend ourselves, isn’t it? So to see Jesus remaining calm and silent when pressed way beyond our human endurance is a holy marvel! It takes a great deal of grace, gritty endurance and strength for us to act or react similarly.
Those holy whispers are words we do well to heed. It pays to learn how to submit to them and bite our tongue when a riposte just wants to slip out! Thank you for your lovely Easter greeting. May we rest in that precious victory having already been won by our Risen Redeemer. Love and hugs to you, dear friend! xo 😊💜
Such a beautiful prayer from a beautiful person. Thank you for lifting us all up in prayer. It was so kind of you. ❤️ P.S. your accent leaves me gobsmacked! (Did I use that word correctly?) Be blessed.
Lynette, how lovely of you to stop by and leave such a sweet comment! It was, and is, a pleasure and privilege to pray for my readers, friends and followers. I hold you all in my heart and long to impart something of God’s love and grace in the words I share. It made me smile to think my accent left you “gobsmacked” and I hope that was in a good way! I actually love an American accent and find it very appealing. May your week ahead be blessed. Love and hugs to you, my friend! 😊💜