As Jesus is condemned to death, as He is attacked, insulted and accused by the Pharisees, by Herod and by Pilate – there are a several things which stand out about His response.
Or lack of it.
Jesus is consistently accused and asked questions. But rarely does He respond, and when He does He doesn’t say too much. It’s usually in the form of questions, or indirect statements.
Jesus never advances His cause. He’s accused of inciting a rebellion, which of course is not true.
Yet Jesus could have done.
Jesus simply accepts what is happening to Him in many ways. He completely submits Himself to what is happening.
Jesus could have turned to the crowd and told them the truth, spoken some powerful words to silence them and win them over. Jesus could have denied who He was completely, said it was all a lie and escaped all the consequences. He could have pursued His agenda, and defended Himself.
But Jesus doesn’t resist.
He doesn’t fight back.
He doesn’t get aggressive or defensive.
He is either quiet, or brutally honest. He doesn’t say anything to put them off taking action to stop Him.
He accepts what is about to happen. He is submissive completely to the will of God. He is true to who He is and to His message completely.
How Jesus responds to His trial and sentence of death is an object lesson to us about walking in the will of God.
Jesus is obedient and faithful to God, even though He knows the consequences of that will be for Him.
Often we romanticise following Jesus and being obedient to His will, make it sound glamorous and always ending well. It’s easy to assume at times that if it’s God’s will, God’s best for us, then of course it will be pain-free and easy for us to walk.
In reality though, it’s never that simple.
Sometimes following Jesus is hard, it’s a struggle, it involves surrendering our own agenda
and trusting that God can bring us through.
It can be hard to let go of our agenda though. We have an idea of what we think God wants and we have our own views and thoughts on how people should hear His message, and what we should be doing.
But when God tells us different, we resist. We fight back. We stand up for our agenda, we don’t surrender. In the end of course, God usually shows us how wrong we were – through life, through circumstances, through words from others.
The challenge of Jesus trial and sentence is for us to surrender our own agenda, to give it up and allow God to shape us, to be submissive completely to His will and not fight back.
The call is to surrender and to sacrifice, and to be obedient to God’s will whatever that means for us. To trust that God has a bigger plan, that His plan is perfect and that He will give us whatever we need to accomplish it.
Just like Jesus did.