The roads are hot and dusty, Galilean sand swirling in through the city gates with the many weary travelers arriving in Jerusalem to observe the Passover. A mob has collected around Pilate’s judgement seat – the rabble of the town attracted to watch the farce of a trial. Jesus of Nazareth stands accused today.
“Do you hear that long list of accusations? Aren’t you going to say something?” Pilate questioned the simple man standing before him (Matthew 27, The Message).
Not a word escaped the lips of the accused. He stood still, his lips quiet, while his eyes penetrated through the religious garb of the scholars and the patrician robes of the Roman governor. All looked uncomfortable under his gaze, but still he said not a word.
Only one question had he answered that morning. The sun was just barely coming up over the Mt. Olives and the streets were just barely stirring with the sounds of bread makers and shepherds preparing their wares for the Passover needs when the question was posed. Four simple words later, the man was once again silent, strong, kingly. He’d spent the last three years explaining, sharing, convicting. Today’s task didn’t need those words. No, something far greater would be required.
Pilate had asked him, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?” In a simple statement, the Christ had neither confirmed nor denied. “If you say so,” was all he had replied. Once again, the silence was palpable in the courtroom to all but the religious leaders, who continued to spew forth their derogatory diatribes (Mark 15, The Message).
As the long hours wore on and the beatings and humiliations were poured onto the Carpenter . . . still . . . he said not a word. Still he was. Still he stood. Accused. Unfazed. More kingly than all of the pomp of Pilate’s court.
With one look into his eyes, you knew that he knew . . . who he was, what he had done, what he was going to do. Words were extraneous when all his enemies cared about anyway was his identity. If only they had realized that who he was could not be altered. He knew, and he let the crucifixion continue. He was who he had always been. God come in the flesh. The Son of the Most High. The Carpenter from Nazareth and the Shepherd of Israel.
He stood still . . . silent . . . accused. His enemies having no idea what power they were about to unleash.
We stand accused. The Enemy of our souls pours forth his best arguments for our destruction. How do we answer?
Do we turn our backs on God in anger that He would even allow our enemies to accuse us? Do we agree with that Great Enemy, bowing our heads in defeat and discouragement? Do we listen to the lies spewing forth in the throne room or do we stand still and at peace with who we know that we have become?
It shouldn’t matter that the beatings still come and the humiliations don’t stop. Nothing can change who we are in Christ. Nothing and no one. We can’t forget that a love story was written on our behalf.
I hear these words leaking in my mind: “God couldn’t possibly care about you. If He did, then why has He withheld His healing? God couldn’t possibly care to act on your behalf. If He did, then why do so many of your prayers go unanswered?”
I’m done responding to my enemies. I want to stand . . . silent . . . sure of who I am. Christ has called me Beloved, Beautiful, Perfect, Healed. He has given me names – “callings” shall we say. Teacher. Warrior. Mother. I am who He says I am . . . standing . . . still.
So are you . . stand . . . still.
Join me in this Easter journey, this journey to the cross, this journey to victory. For more on what Christ is showing me . . . item by item . . . read: