Silence and Stillness before God (2 minutes)
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!” Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!” Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph), and Salome. They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there.
Paul writes in Thessalonians that the final coming of Christ will be accompanied by shout and trumpet call. Surely this is also what Jesus’ disciples expected from their Saviour, a last-minute come-back when all would know with fanfare that Jesus really was who he claimed, the son of God. Jesus and his followers would be vindicated. Yet there he was, lying in a tomb: dead, defeated, silenced. With human ears, we can’t always hear the voice of eternal victory.
I wonder if the earth has ever seen a culture more entitled to their voice than the one in which we live today. The public square has invaded our lives through tech devices, the internet, social media. Having a voice is seen as a human right. Yet Jesus, in his ultimate victory, chose the most extreme form of human silence: death.
Let us make time today to fast our voice. Let’s join Christ in silence (talking, typing, texting, etc.) to ponder the tragedy and wonder of his death.
Question to Consider
In his submission to God, Jesus’ silence before man (death) led to the eternal silencing of Satan (salvation). How does the thought of relinquishing your voice make you feel? Can you identify times in your own life when submitting to God in silence would also silence the enemy?
Jesus, thank you for choosing death so I could have life. I give you my voice today and trust you to speak for me, to me and through me as I quiet myself and humbly wait on you.
Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)
The 40 days of decrease blogs have been inspired by the book “40 Days of Decrease” by Alicia Britt Chole.