We’d only been in the house a few months when my husband had to go out of town on business. With our bedroom in the basement, and our children only 7, 4, and 1, the baby monitor in our youngest child's room did a lot to ease my nighttime nerves. And it often came in handy. Especially one particular night.
It was the middle of the night and I was in a sound sleep. The house was completely quiet when suddenly my end of the monitor picked up the squeak of an opening door. My eyes flipped open in a flash, and I lay there, trying to make sense out of what I thought I heard. Those few seconds felt like an eternity as I strained to listen into the darkness. And then I heard it. The springs of my sons crib were being pushed down by a heavy weight. I sat straight up in bed. Listening. Straining. Almost feeling the weight of the silence pounding in my head. And then the final jolt. I was almost to the door of my room when I heard a voice. Eerie... distant... like in some late-night movie. It said, Mommy.
Well, by now my heart was racing my legs up the stairs. It was “Mommy to the rescue!” and I turned on every light as I went. As soon as I reached the baby's room I found the door opened, my one year old asleep and my four year old son sitting up in his brothers crib, rubbing his eyes in a daze. That was the first time sleep-walking was discovered in our home, and unfortunately, it wasn’t the last. Looking back, one of the nights more memorable moments was when I was listening to the silence. The deafening, screaming silence. The hurt-your-ears-because-of-its-intensity silence. It didn’t make any sense. But then, unexpected silence usually doesn’t. And that's just what we find in this passage.
After arresting Jesus the night before, many leading priests and teachers of the law had Him brought before Pilate, the Roman governor. In verse three we’re told that these men accused Jesus of many crimes. One translation says the high priests let loose a barrage of accusations. And Jesus remained quiet. Possibly out of frustration Pilate blurted out, Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of. Let’s look at verse 5 and see what happened next.
But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise. Mark 15:5
Jesus said nothing. He remained silent. Oh, He could've talked, defended Himself against the barrage of lies that were cruelly thrown at Him. Maybe He should have talked and told them all exactly who He was and what He was about to do. He could've. He should've. He didn’t. God doesn’t always speak when we think the time is right.
Many times in life we think, God's gonna talk to me any time now. And when He doesn’t, we’re left only with silence. But maybe His silence is exactly what we need. Maybe He wants to turn our sense of hearing into a sensitivity to listen. Just as I learned that night all alone, it is when the silence is the loudest that my hearing is the sharpest.
And maybe that's the best reason of all... for the silence of God.
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