Message: Sometimes it’s what you don’t say rather than what you do say that makes the biggest impact. In Mark 15 Jesus was standing before Pilate and Pilate knew that there was something wrong with the motives and accusations coming at Jesus. Knowing he had power, influence and authority he tried from all angles to get Jesus to defend himself, to persuade the crowds to free Jesus and to offer a known criminal instead. He really wanted to help him out, so he was setting him up with opportunities to defend himself. When Jesus was silent and did not respond verse 5 says that Pilate was amazed. As kind as Pilate was, Jesus was not relying on the authority and influence of man to release him. He was laying himself down in a plan much bigger than anyone knew or understood. Pilate’s acknowledgements confirmed his innocence and proved that Jesus was doing this by choice.
Command: Don’t rely on the power and authority of man to accomplish the will of God or our own vindication.
Promise: God has plans that are bigger than us and if he allows us to be in a situation where we are misunderstood (and not due to our own guilt or sin) he will either vindicate us or use it as a platform for a bigger and better story.
Warning: Don’t get so caught up in the discomfort of being falsely accused or misunderstood that I take matters into my own hands and distract from the bigger picture that God might be using to tell another story.
Application: I saw this two different ways. First of all, Jesus was on a mission so he was not looking for a way out of his circumstances. He had a plan to lay himself down and he was exactly where he was supposed to be. Secondly, I really leaned into the fact that the silence of Jesus amazed Pilate when seemingly he should have been trying to defend himself. After all, his life was at stake right? I really struggle with trying to defend myself in misunderstandings. I HATE being misunderstood so passionately that when I believe my motives are being misinterpreted with a skewed view I have a bad habit of desperately trying to defend myself or over-explain. Sometimes my attempts to explain muddy the waters even more and my explanations really display defensiveness. God has really had to help me in this area and he is still working on me to accept that I can’t change the perceptions of others. When Jesus was falsely accused he allowed his life to speak for itself. In fact, there are certain things he said at times that didn’t make a lot of sense at the time, but he knew that people would remember them later on and put the pieces together. So often it’s not what we say that impacts people. It’s what we don’t say that catches their attention and allows people to look at our lives and put the pieces together. Sometimes we are falsely accused by design and in time God will use those moments to tell a more powerful story if we don’t try to fix it ourselves.