“Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.” (Mark 14:61)
Jesus, I wish You would speak! I wish You would tell them Who You are. I wish You would confront the angry, doubt-filled crowds and the arrogant cowardice of those in power. There must be someone who will speak up for You! Where are the lepers who were healed? Where are the blind who can now see? Where are all the people who ate the bread and fish on the hillside? Where are those who followed You so readily when they thought You would become King of the Jews? No one speaks. No voice in the crowd comes to Your defense. On this day, You stand alone.
You stand before Pilate, the power of Rome: seeming weakness standing before world power. And yet, Pilate, the ruthless enforcer for the Empire, has lost control: he cannot force You to confess; he cannot make the crowds be quiet. With all his power, he cannot find the courage to do what is right. Power does not always rest in the hands of Empires. Thrones and judgment seats are not always filled with the courageous and strong. Pilate plays it safe, giving in to the crowds for the sake of order.
Innocent of all charges, You stood before Pilate, yet he condemned You to death. You were silent, but so was everyone who could have spoken on Your behalf. In some small way, we understand what You experienced. At times, we have felt alone, been treated unfairly, seen others misuse power entrusted to them. We have been falsely accused, and no one spoke up for us.
Reflection: Do I respond like You did? Or, am I prone to squeal and whine, seeking to make my case and offer my own defense? How do I respond when life seems unfair? Do I complain? Do I seek the easy way out? Do I, in my own strength, rally others to my aid? What do I do when I do not get my way?
Prayer: “Jesus, help me to respond the way You did. I know there is a time to speak up, but more often than not, I’ve spoken up out of fear, doubt and self-defense when I should have simply trusted my loving Father God. Help me to see beneath the surface of my own desires and preferences to the unseen hand of God that is present in every area of my life. God, help me to believe what Romans 8:28 says, ‘You are working all things together for my good.’”