When silence has meaning: a Good Friday reflection

Today is Good Friday the day when Jesus went through a series of late night/early morning trials, was beaten, then crucified. Through all of those trials Jesus spoke very little, even as the accusations and questions (not to mention spit and hands) were flying at him. Other than a couple of short statements, Jesus remained silent, giving no defense for himself at all.

His purpose (as Luke’s Gospel makes clear) that day was to be crucified, not to be exonerated, so silence was his only real option. He could have spoken up and answered all their charges; it would not have been the first (or hundredth) time Jesus had left questioners and accusers with nothing more to say. But this would have worked against His purpose – to die on the cross for you and me and the whole world. Silence was the only truthful answer He could give that worked in harmony with God’s will in those moments.

This silence on Jesus’ part was not a unique occurrence in the life of God. The Lord uses the greatest discretion when speaking into our lives, revealing what is needed when it is needed always with His good will (both for us, our community, and even the broader picture) as the goal of what the Lord speaks to us. Sometimes the most meaningful answer God can give us is silence. Sometimes this is the only response that will work His will and our best good (which are always the same) out in our lives.

Silence was the most meaningful answer Jesus could have possibly given on Good Friday. It may be the most meaningful answer He can give you right now.