“Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, ‘Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!’ But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.”
Mark 15:4-5 (NKJV)
They were at the busiest time of the year given they were Jewish. Jerusalem was full of visitors from all over. Historically, the focus was upon everything associated with their religion and this annual observance.
We know that it was all commerce for some, for with large crowds came the opportunity to get some of their money. For others, it was primarily prestige.
After all, those with religious rank loved to demonstrate their worthiness of such a title publicly. For others, it was personal and sacred as they came with sincere hearts to gain just enough atonement to spare them of God’s judgement for another year.
This year was different … for everybody. Jesus threw a monkey wrench in the commerce-driven folks when He cleared the temple. His message and His miracles caused the religious elites to feel threatened and insecure. There was so much attention given to Jesus that they were defending their positions the only way they knew how … by attacking and discrediting Him.
Would-be worshippers always had some satisfaction from bringing their sacrifice to the Lord. That step was about to be eliminated as He became the once and for all time, perfect sacrifice.
What one sees here is determined by which side of the cross you are looking from. From the other side of Calvary, Jesus was messing up everything.
From our point in time, we see that He completed and perfected everything associated with knowing God in a personal and intimate way.
Since Pilate was not a Jew, he had no personal investment in the things happening. Still, he was very intrigued by one aspect. Before him stood Jesus, a man being accused of blasphemy and even of being an extension of Satan and his evil.
No accusation could be more damning or hurtful to a Jew, and nothing could be more confusing to Pilate than Jesus’ unwillingness to defend himself.
After all, what kind of innocent man doesn’t declare his innocence? What kind of person doesn’t refute false accusations by declaration of the same?
Some thought his silence was an indication of guilt. Perhaps that’s what Pilate thought.
Let’s ask ourselves this question and see where it ends.
Why didn’t Jesus defend Himself against the accusations?
Why, being innocent, didn’t He refute the fabricated lies that served as the foundation for the charges leveled against Him?
Certainly the answer is not that He didn’t care.
Jesus declared in John 12: “my hour has come, my heart is troubled.”
Oh He cared, my friend. The weight of the charges and forthcoming sentence had already been so stressful that He asked the Father to change the plan if there was any other way to provide redemption. There wasn’t. During that conversation with His Father, the pressure was so great that blood oozed through the pores of His skin.
Let me ask you, how high does your blood pressure have to get in order for your blood to come through the surface of your skin? Oh He cared, friend. This was important.
This brings us back to the question, “Why did He not defend himself?”
The answer is clear. Jesus had already embraced the path that was in front of Him. He had surrendered to the Father’s will. Death was the purpose for
His life and He embraced it. You might say, He was already as good as dead and dead men don’t defend themselves.
The same applies to us.
If we have died to our own will and if the apostle’s words apply to you, then you and I “have been crucified with Christ. It is not us that live, but Christ that lives through us.” So, when the accusers come along wagging their tongues with lies, don’t sweat it because the dead don’t defend themselves.
They have an advocate, His name is Jesus!
Dr. Dennis Cagle is the founder of Xaltm LLC who has been a pastor for 36 years and currently works as a church consultant. He is a former resident of McMinn County and current resident of Tellico Plains. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org