And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly. (Mat 27:12-14 also Luk 23:9-10)
In the face of his accusers Jesus didn’t give reply to their accusations. In the face of the one who could set Him free He didn’t plead His case. He neither spoke to exonerate or to rebut, but we know His silence was definitely not agreement, at least not with His accusers. He listened, and He heard His conspirators but He did not say a word, and all while not speaking, I think I know why Jesus was silent.
Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying and saying a lot to the father, there it’s clear He did two things, cried out and surrendered. “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Mat 26:39). Jesus surrendered to the Father, so when He came in front of the man, He didn’t attempt to disrupt the plan. His silence was His surrendering to the father. He had already drank the cup, the cup He could not pass, the same chalice that Jesus promised to the “Sons of Thunder”.
Saul turned Paul, chosen by the Lord from being prime persecutor of the Church to chief sufferer with the Saints! Paul knew about surrendering and suffering in the will of God (Act 9:16). Much like Jesus, Paul already was “bound in the spirit”, so that what ever He faced ahead, he just surrendered to the Lord’s will.
And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. (Act 20:22-23)
Peter the disciple who followed at a distance, the same who denied Jesus three times before the rooster had crowed, learned to surrender just the same. In Fox’s book of Martyr’s it’s told Peter had a chance to flee the city in which he was crucified in, but when he got to the gates he saw Jesus, and Jesus told him He had come to be crucified again. At that point Peter knew he was to turn and face his fate, and was crucified upside down.
O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me…(Mat 26:39)
Jesus’ prayer to the Father was “if it is possible”, if there is another way, how else can this be done; there was no other way, and He knew that when He left the garden. His silence was not only surrender, it was acceptance of God’s will. So while most say, “silence is agreement”, they’re partly right, but for Jesus it was agreeing to God’s will, not man’s. Knowing He had given His rebuttal to God, and that there would be none with man, He remained silent. Jesus was condemned and sentenced way before the trial. What could have been said to dissuade the people who accused Him, when they came prepared to lie, and had already condemned Him. Even His good was spoken of as evil; when your condemned you can do no good and no matter the outcome you’re not going to be right. Even when the rulers found no evil in Jesus and wanted to let Him go, they still beat Him!
Jesus lived out His Passion in a week, and bore His cross all in one day to the “Place of a skull”, but to each of His followers, He says if you desire to go after Him, we must deny ourselves, pick up our crosses and follow Him (Mat 16:24). Our lives our to be our “Passion”, and we’re to bear our cross where ever He leads us, surrendering in silence when needed and it will be needed, but always surrendering in agreement to the Father’s will. Knowing that all who strive to live Godly in Jesus will suffer persecution. (2 Ti 3:12)