“Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, ‘Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?’ But Jesus remained silent” (Matthew 26:62-63).

How the Savior was watched, malignly watched, always watched, watched with theological eyes, political eyes, passionate eyes. No wonder! He opposed Himself to the religion of His times—whoever does that dies. He opposed Himself to the orthodoxy, the respectability, and the self-security of His age, and whoever does that dies! When they urged Jesus to defend Himself, we read these wonderful words: “But Jesus remained silent.” That was probably the crowning miracle this side of the cross. The Man of eloquence without a word upon His lips—silence then was truly golden. What made Him so quiet? The struggle in Gethsemane. There was nothing more to be said: The Man who had passed through such experience was bound to be quiet. There was no arrangement or trick.

After all-night prayer, we cannot speak. We seem to our friends to be distraught but with a singular shining in our face and a new gentleness in the hand. Sorrow conquered must be followed by eloquent silence. The battle was won in Gethsemane. To have spoken would have been to degrade the grandeur of all that made the life of Christ sublime. Yet when He did speak and defined His divinity, he spoke in a fitting tone. What could you do to a man who spoke in this manner? You can strike this man and he does not feel the fist: The soul in that hour is so much greater and grander than the body that the body is but a dead surface to the hand that abuses it.

Live in heaven, live in actual possession of God’s blessing, have your tabernacle and your pavilion in eternity, and not a hair on your head shall perish. What could death be to a man who talked as Christ? He had abolished death. They met; they caught each other in their terrific arms; and death was left where the bloody sweat fell!

Adapted from In His Presence