Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 11, 2020

the facet of lowliness in silence

All of creation had suffered a great loss.  As dawn broke that Saturday, the Creator of the Universe in flesh and bone, the close friend of the disciples, the God-man who healed with just the sound of His voice, lay breathless in a tomb.  We have no way of knowing what was true of the created world on that sacred Sabbath.  This is already sixty-four words more than the Bible records on the subject (now it’s seventy-four). I wonder if the birds sang in greeting the sun, as they would on any other day.  I wonder if there even was a sunrise, or if the morning light just sort of snuck in undetected behind a great grey canvas of clouds.  I wonder if grief completely consumed hope in the hearts and minds of those who loved Jesus.

I could understand a bird or three not wanting to sing. I’m willing to bet you, though, there were some who did. There had to be an overwhelming sense of sadness, but creation had not lost its Creator.  God was still on His throne.  The tomb was sealed, and I believe Jesus’ human form lay breathless, but what was going on behind that seal?  I believe it can be true that the day was silent in an entirely different way than we might expect.  Can your mind and its eye see a created world that is catching its breath and struggling to contain its expectancy for Resurrection day?  Can you see, in their silence, a true follower who is fanning a flickering flame of hope?!  What did the silence really “sound” like? There is another silence I am sitting with today, and I offer it as my final facet of this week. It is the deliberate silence of the perfect Lamb, who stayed mostly so for the entirety of the day of His dying.

But he was silent and made no answer.
Mark 14:61a (RSV)

This week, Jesus has had much to say in His teaching and preparing, both with the people and His disciples. He has been both clever and sharp in exposing the hearts, will and ways of the religious leaders. But the servant Savior with a single-minded sense of His time and purpose has now chosen the way of silence. He has also very deliberately chosen the lonely and lowly way. The latter of which, has been His pattern since the moment He came to be one of us.

In every detail of His coming, living, and dying, Jesus has been the purest and truest example of the “be” attitudes. Take time today to read the bold opening to His sharing with the gathered crowd on “the Mount” in Matthew chapter five. Was not Jesus’ life (and final week) the perfect walking of the talk? What I see in the suffering and sacrifice that follow His choice of silence is unparalleled meekness and mercy. His thirst and hunger in standing silently was for our righteousness (made possible by what He was about to do on the cross). His poorness in spirit, purity of heart, peacemaking and acceptance of persecution drives me to my knees. In doing the very most He could for us, He took the place and assumed the posture of the very least.

The One who could confound the wise or cause a rightful accuser to lay down their stone with a simple story or single question chose silence. Jesus, you knew how easy it would be to prosecute Your accusers. You knew their shallow, seething hate and how quickly it could be exposed. They had huddled against You more than once this week, and You corrected, confused or convicted them every time. Truth always won. Yet, here was the truth this time … before the foundation of the world, God authored a plan. He could not, and would not, violate His nature and manipulate the will of the ones created in His image to prevent their (that is also our) rebellious choice in the garden. So, in loving us like no one ever has or will, He made another way. His own Son would hold His tongue when it was time. No one would take His life either by accusation or execution. He gave it willingly with silent obedience.

What a beautiful and right reminder, also, that it was only when He was at His weakest, loneliest and most opposed that He accomplished the work of redemption. Our work and will in His name should always aspire to lowliness. We should never seek a place of prominence or power from which to show His love or proclaim His name. We do not win for Him; we lose it all for Him. Just as He did for us.


Responses

  1. I was doing quite nicely until your last statement….” We do not win for Him; we lose it all for Him.” Sometimes I need to be reminded of often. How easy it is to take things into my own hands….Thanks….


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