Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate. Then Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.” And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!” But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled. (Mark 15:1-5)
The Son Of God Had Nothing To Say
There is no scene so remarkable as the Son of God standing before the leaders of the Jewish nation, the Roman Empire’s stately guardians of the crown in Pilate and Herod and a rabble of a crowd intent on the murder of this man from Nazareth. He was God and was with God and created the world upon which He stood and formed man from the dust of the ground. The highest of the creative order formed to give glory to God was spitting in His face, cursing His name and wanting more than anything to see this man die. With all the regal splendor of a Roman court Pilate sat before the beleaguered Jesus and demanded the Galilean to answer his inquiries. The Preachers Homiletical study makes an impressive statement about this picture: “Pilate holding Christ’s life in his hand is the crowning paradox of history and the mystery of self-abasing love. One exercise of the Prisoner’s will and His chains would have snapped and the governor lain dead on the marble ‘pavement.’” Remarkable is the love of Jesus to allow the puny efforts of a miserable despot to act with any authority before the Son of Almighty God and not strike him dead. The chief priests, elders and scribes brought many charges against Jesus and He said nothing. None of the accusations were true and there was no value in arguing the points. Nothing in the life of Jesus could be found in contradiction as they had tried often to trap Him by His words, catch Him in some unholy deed or accuse Him of being in league with Satan. They never denied His miracles. The best they could do was challenging His teaching but on every turn He dismissed their human wisdom with the divine word. It must have seem incredulous to find Jesus standing before the Roman court and failing to lodge any solid claims to sedition, heresy or blasphemy. There was no proof and they could confirm any of their claims. Jesus remained silent allowing them to defeat themselves. When asked by Pilate if He was the King of the Jews Jesus answered in the affirmative. That is all He said. One can only imagine the frantic scene of the chief priests bringing charge after charge against Jesus and He silently stands bound with nothing to say.
Truth is defended sometimes by allowing error to prove itself lacking. Mark does not record the accusations leveled against Jesus but they would have been no different than what the Jewish leaders brought against Him during His short ministry. They could not prove the charges before and now before Pilate they made fools of themselves trying to accuse the man from Nazareth. Pilate marveled that Jesus remained silent. Why should a man take such abuse at the hands of skilled prosecutors? Any other man would have shouted down the false claims and demanded a fair trial before an unbiased court of inquiry. Jesus remained silent for two reasons: there was nothing to say because nothing they said was based on truth; secondly Jesus remained silent to proclaim to the whole world His willingness to accomplish the will of the Father. The silence of Jesus is the sound heard round the world. Jesus answered nothing and thank God He did not answer. His work was to die for all men and while He could have called down twelve legions of angels to destroy everyone within a thousand miles of Jerusalem He remained silent. Fulfilling the image of the suffering servant of Isaiah Jesus was led like a lamb to the slaughter; that before the shearers was silent. Earlier that week Jesus had spoken to a fig tree and it dried up. Imagine what He could have done to Pilate and the Sanhedrin.
The silence of Jesus was all that could be done. There was nothing else to say that had not already been said. The Lord had spent nearly three years teaching, admonishing, exhorting, instructing and showing His power through miracles and preaching. If men would not heed His words during His ministry, why would they listen more intently standing before the Roman government? Jesus came to die and die He would. He gave His life because He kept silent. Pilate may have marveled that day when Jesus kept silent but Pilate marveled more when he found in death the eternal realities of Jesus being the Son of God. Pilate is now the one crying out seeking the blessing of the man of Galilee. The roles were never reversed. Jesus stood before Pilate but Jesus was the King and Pilate was nothing more than a pawn of human wisdom. Eternity opened the eyes of Pilate to the reality of how great Jesus Christ of Nazareth was but sadly too late for the Roman despot. Jesus is silent today as there is no need of further revelation. All that men need to know is contained within the pages of the Bible and this is all the message God will send His people. There will be no further revelations or testimonies. Jesus will never come to earth again and speak because all that needed to be said has been completed in the full revelation of God’s will. Jesus is silent today but one day He will call forth the names of the righteous. His words resonate through the pages of holy writ and the only voice man can hear today is what is found in the word of God. Refusing to listen to the voice of God today will bring great sorrow in the world to come. Listen to the word of Jesus. They have not changed in nearly two thousand years and they will never change. Listen to the words of Jesus.