Opened Not His Mouth :: By Grant Phillips

Isaiah in the Old Testament prophesied of Jesus that:

“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 its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)

Then Matthew in the New Testament tells us:

“Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.” (Matthew 27:11-14)

One reason that Jesus kept silent is because, for our sakes, He knew He must go to the cross to be our Redeemer. Without His death, burial and resurrection all mankind would be judged to an everlasting hell, but those who come to Him in belief would inherit eternal life. There is also another reason.

Jesus also kept silent because He was guilty and could not defend Himself. That sounds outlandish, even blasphemous, until we stop and think about it. He stood there silently for all of us taking our guilt upon Himself.

From the moment Jesus was arrested He was taking the sins of the world upon Himself. He stood before His accusers on our behalf. He took the beatings for us. He walked to the cross for us. He hung and died on the cross for us. It should have been us, but even if it were, we would still all spend eternity in hell. Only Jesus could pay the price to redeem from the slave market of sin, all those who come to Him.

Think of it this way. Let’s say an entire classroom of children, except one, trashed the classroom before their teacher arrived. When the teacher came into the classroom she was horrified and angry. She wanted to know who was guilty. No one would admit to it. Much to the students’ surprise, the one student who was innocent stepped forward and took the blame. The innocent student said nothing, but with bowed head accepted the punishment the others deserved. Now that may not be the best example in the world, but that is exactly what Jesus did for us. That is why Jesus was silent. He was guilty, because He accepted our guilt upon Himself.

From Genesis throughout the remainder of the Scriptures, God shows over and over that man cannot be in His presence unless He is righteous, and man cannot be righteous unless one who is totally innocent pays the sin debt with his own blood.

God clothed Adam and Eve with the skin of an innocent animal representing His prophecy found earlier in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” From that time forward, probably millions of innocent animals died because of the sin within mankind. They died to show that a Redeemer would come at the appointed time to redeem man to God.

The Redeemer, the Son of God, Jesus the Christ came and died for all nearly two thousand years ago. He died totally innocent on behalf of the guilty. There was no sin within Him. Even Pilate could find no fault in Him (John 18:38; 19:4, 6), but yet He took our punishment upon Himself so we would have a way, the only way, to be saved.

It is alarming how lightly most everyone in our society regards sin. Some don’t consider what God calls sin as sin. Others say something like, “Jesus paid my sins so I can do whatever I think is best for me.” Most pastors don’t touch the subject of sin anymore.

Paul wrote to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:2-3) that in latter times some will depart from the faith, having their conscience seared with a hot iron. Isn’t that exactly where we are now? Having no conscience of our sins we commit against God is a very frightening thought. Yet many today have no conscience which is apparent by what they say, do, think and their lifestyle.

We treat sin as if, “Oh, it’s no big deal. Everyone does it!” Can that really be what we think of Jesus? Is there no appreciation at all for all He has done for us? Jesus suffered more and gave more for us than we could ever comprehend, and this is our attitude toward Him? Friends, that’s cold and heartless. Are our souls so dead we have no feelings?

None of us are without sin. That’s understood. We’re all active sinners, but are we a saved sinner, saved by the blood of Jesus? As professing Christians do we try not to sin, as described in God’s Holy Word, the Bible, or do we even recognize our fallen nature? Is there any guilt that pulls at us, making us aware we need to repent? Do we even care?

We’re into the canning season here at our house. My better half juiced tomatoes yesterday, and will be canning tomatoes tomorrow. I’ve noticed all throughout this process, and over the last several years, that she is constantly sniffing the tomatoes. Those who can tomatoes will know why she does that. A tomato may look good on the outside, but that doesn’t mean it is good on the inside. Therefore, any bad spot will be hastily removed.

People are like tomatoes. They may be beautiful on the outside, everything appearing to be perfect, but God sees what is on the inside.

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Unlike tomatoes, we are all tainted with bad spots. It’s called sin. Our sin nature keeps producing an endless supply of sins that keep us sick and will cause eternal death, unless something is done to save us. Something was done. It was done on a cross at Calvary that held the nailed hands and feet of the Son of God while His blood soaked the ground beneath.

Even on the cross, Jesus did not open His mouth in defense of His innocence but said, “… Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

Now He is saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Grant Phillips


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