THE SILENT SUFFERER
"He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7, NIV).
Recently, my wife and I attended a passion play which vividly dramatized this portrait of the "Silent Sufferer." Amid the scorn, derision, mockery, and false accusations, Christ maintained stoic silence. As the Negro spiritual says, "He never said a mumbling word."
In what may well be history's most notorious mistrial, Jesus remained poised, serene, and silent. Isaiah had prophesied this silent behavior more than seven centuries earlier (see Isaiah 53:7). Not once during the kangaroo-court trial did our Saviour open His mouth in self-defense, protest, or complaint. He refused to incriminate Himself or say anything that would in any way jeopardize His mission to redeem fallen humanity. Though spat upon, slapped, blindfolded, and derided, our Saviour remained serene and silent. The lowest indignity could not elicit retaliation or protest.
The apostle Peter, as an eyewitness of Christ's ill-treatment, wrote: "When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly" (1 Peter 2:23, NIV). The greatest lesson of all is that the "Silent Sufferer" did it all voluntarily and cheerfully for our salvation. As Ellen G. White so aptly comments: "He was not silent because he was guilty; for he was the embodiment of purity and holiness... He suffered humiliation, agony and death in silence, because he has given his life for the life of the world"--Review and Herald, June 23, 1896.
My Prayer Today: Lord, teach me to be submissive to Your will and to emulate the life of the "Silent Sufferer." Amen.