Thursday, April 5, 2007

Why was Jesus Silent?

On this Good Friday, I thought it would be instructive to look at what Christ said when He appeared before the Chief Priests and Scribes they asked Him if He was the Christ. Christ's response is telling -
"If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer." Luke 22:67
The religious authorities had an agenda when they called Christ in, and there was nothing Christ could've said which they would've believed, nor would they answer any of His questions. In short - they had the mindset of "my mind is made up, don't confuse me with facts."

This is the classical way an unbeliever manifests their lack of faith.

Why was this? Because they did not understand the wisdom of God:
"But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."
1 Corinthians 2:7
Scriptures tells us that Christ would not be alone in this experience, that there will be others in positions of religious authority who abuse and mistreat the faithful, and it'll be for the same reason - because they do not have the Father - or Christ - in them:
"They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me." John 16:1
This isn't surprising considering that spiritual truths can only be understood by the working of the Spirit within a person. These religious pretenders can be found anywhere - including positions of authority in the church. While this can certainly be cause for concern, it's not reason to lose faith, indeed such challenges can be used by Christ to deepen one's faith when He works things out by the power of His Word.

In short, the people of God will share in the sufferings of Christ for the same reason He was mistreated and abused. In such situations, Christ shows us an example to follow, and the reason to follow it:
"When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly." 1 Peter 2:22
Some day the works of all people will be exposed for all to see, nothing will be hidden, and when a person is judged, the ruling will be complete, certain, and without possibility of appeal. It was for this reason that Christ asked the Father to forgive those who were crucifying Him, because they didn't have a clue as to what the ultimate and eternal implications of their actions would be.

While it's hard to trust Him to do whatever needs to be done when things are falling down around your ears, and the ones pulling down the walls are wolves in sheep's clothing, one has to remember that the strength of our faith does not rest on the faithfulness of anyone other than the Living God Himself.

I know, it's one thing to say it, but another to practice it. God knows that we are but dust (Psalm 103:14), which is why Christ was sent to accomplish what we could never do on our own, and then why the Holy Spirit was sent to keep us safe until we're called to be home with Christ.

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