“Then the leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes, and Pilate asked him, ‘Aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you?’ But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.” - Mark 15:3-5
If someone accuses me of a wrong motive, questions my integrity or work ethic, or plain makes up a lie about me, there’s a little switch that turns on in my brain called, “Decimate Individual.” I see a flash of color. My brain recesses activate the filing system: filing cabinets filled with what I need to say to prove myself while also giving me info to point out their hypocrisy and make them think twice before they ever decide to trifle with me again. The drawers pop out the moment I need them, and the file immediately appears in my hand. Operation Decimate Individual commences.
But Jesus... he was silent.
Fully God, fully man; he felt, he hurt, he got angry, he experienced every emotion.
No filing cabinet system activated.
They made up the most ridiculous lies about him. They searched for people who were willing to make things up. They hurled insults at him.
He refused to answer the nonsense.
There was only one question Jesus responded to: “Are you the Son of the living God?”
He responded to what was true. He didn’t bother with the lies. Did you catch that? He was silent through the lies. He only answered the one true statement.
What's even more... his refusal to answer was a sign of guilt. This man was the least guilty person on the face of the earth to ever exist, yet he chose to plead guilty through his non-response for us. For you. For me.
I’m challenged by this. I’m doing better with my filing system. The switch may get activated, but I push the big red STOP button next to the switch. I try to listen. I struggle with not defending myself. I try to see if I did really cause offense and own my part. I try to see why. Did I mention I struggle with not defending myself? It’s hard. Really hard. Need a nap hard because doing the right thing - doing the Jesus thing - can be mentally exhausting but 100% worth doing.
But once again, Jesus schools me and shows me the way. This is what love looks like.
Take just a moment and read the full account here and be amazed at Jesus.