“Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless, remain that way. Say nothing and listen as Heaven whispers, “Do you like it? I did it just for you.”― Max Lucado, American Clergy
American writer George William Curtis said, “Happiness is speechless.” Now, that’s something to reflect upon. SPEECHLESS means unable to speak or express in words, especially as the temporary result of shock or some strong emotion. Max Lucado above says that the beauty of God’s creation, made just for us, can leave us dumbstruck. Perhaps you’ve been stunned by an awesome event, or flabbergasted that someone had the gall to do or say something offensive. Maybe you were tongue-tied at of the beauty of your future spouse, or shell-shocked because of an alarming event. We can feel shut down, gaslighted, and voiceless at work, at school, or at home.. Have you ever been rendered speechless? If so, why?
Solomon told us, “There is… a time to be silent and a time to speak.” (Ecc. 3:7) Sometimes remaining speechless is appropriate; sometimes it is not.
As we celebrate the season of Lent, moving toward Good Friday, we look at the most powerful moment of silence ever known to man. It was the silence of Jesus Christ, the anointed Messiah. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7) Given the circumstances, this disposition from our Lord is simply amazing.
Jesus historically had things to say. He taught the disciples and crowds. He told the men who accused (and wanted to stone) the woman caught in adultery, “He who is without sin among you cast the first stone at her.“ (John 8:7) Jesus verbally excoriated the religious leaders, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” But when it became time for His crucifixion, His most bitter trial…Jesus experienced a depth of pain and purpose unlike anything prior. The religious leaders covertly moved to arrest and try Him. He would be betrayed and abandoned by His closest disciples. Jesus was heroically embraced…then devastatingly rejected by once adoring crowds, and He was brutally beaten within an inch of His life by the Roman soldiers. When that time for crucifixion came, Jesus was silent and remained so. He didn’t call ten thousand angels. He didn’t rain down vengeful fire from Heaven. Jesus was speechless. When He finally did speak, He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)