Back to Pause

He Did Not Open His Mouth.

September 30, 2020·Elizabeth Ewens

This week in our Pause plan, we read Isaiah 53. I’ve read these verses many times over my life. The chapter foretells that Jesus will come and describes how brutally He will be tortured, ridiculed and killed. It’s gory. And I know what Isaiah is prophesying in this passage comes to pass, because we can read about it in the New Testament. Every. Last. Detail. Came. True.

  • Matthew 26:63, “But Jesus remained silent.”
  • Matthew 27:14, “But Jesus made no reply,  not even to a single charge — to the great amazement of the governor.
  • In Acts 8, we read the account of Philip speaking with the Ethiopian in the chariot. The Ethiopian is reading this very passage in Isaiah and asks Philip who the Scriptures are talking about, so Philip explains the good news that Jesus came and fulfilled the Scripture.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but when I used to read the passages about Jesus not opening his mouth, I would imagine Jesus was probably thinking…

“Come on guys, let’s get this over with. I know what you have to do, because My Father showed Me — so do it already!” Or,

“These idiots. They think this is their idea. If they only knew. They should be very afraid.” Or even,

“OK, Father. Here we are. Are we really doing this? Then, let’s do this!,” as He gritted His teeth and kept His mouth closed.

Wrong. Just a few years ago, as I read again that Jesus did not open His mouth as He was being falsely, unjustly accused, I suddenly started crying. Ugly crying. In that moment, the Holy Spirit allowed me to understand that Jesus did not open His mouth — not because He was not guilty — but because I WAS GUILTY. Jesus was standing in my place. He was standing there taking my place. He endured the ridicule, the beatings, the torture — FOR ME. In that situation, when Jesus could have shut down the ridicule, beatings and torture, He stepped up and died for me. And you. Yes, Jesus did not open His mouth FOR YOU.

What amazing love that HE DID NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH.

(Cue ugly crying.)


The Church on the Way