“He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.”
When we really stop to think about what took place on Calvary, the brutal physical treatment of Jesus, as well as the cutting insults and mockery, then it is truly beyond our comprehension that “He opened not His mouth.”
We cannot identify with this because this is so unlike us. We tend to open our mouths too quickly, and without thinking. The truth is we are a complaining people. And trust me, I’m talking about myself.
Sometimes we complain about big things in our lives that don’t seem to be going the way we think they ought to. And of course then we think we have good reason to complain. But often we also complain about little details of life that in reality make no difference whatsoever.
The temperature may be too hot, or too cold. It just won’t stop snowing! We need rain, but then all of a sudden we have too much rain. Someone else may be getting more attention than me, or simply may have things going well for them, but I have to fight my way through life. The stoplight is way too long, or the driver in front of me is too slow when the light turns green.
The list of things to complain about is never ending, and the important thing we often forget is that our complaining is sin. Of course Scripture also gives ample warnings about the tongue being used to sin and do untold damage to others. Instead as Christians we are called to encourage one another and build one another up.
Yet our comfort comes from the fact that our Savior “opened not His mouth.” If anyone had a reason, or better yet, a right to complain, He did. Everything that was done to Him, and all that He endured as He suffered on earth, and especially on the cross, was completely undeserved.
As He was beaten, whipped, spit on, nailed to the cross, mocked, insulted and laughed at, He didn’t talk back, He didn’t curse, and He didn’t complain. He alone could have justly said, “It’s not fair!” But He didn’t. Why? Because as Hebrews 4:15 says, He “was without sin.”
He alone could do what we needed to be done to pay for all of those times we opened our mouths from which sin came forth. Matthew 12:34 says, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
On the day our Lord was crucified, as He endured the hellish agony and torment of the wrath of God against all of our sins, He did not open His mouth in complaint. The words He spoke were for the benefit of others. Even when He said, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”, it was so that we who deserved to be forsaken by God, would never be.
Our Savior did not open His mouth that day, so that now He might say to us for our comfort, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
As we are reminded of our Savior’s work on the cross, and rejoice that “He is risen, just as He said,” may we respond in gratitude using our mouths alongside the psalmist who said, “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations” (Psalm 89:1).
May it be that we would indeed THINK before we speak and ask ourselves, “Is it true? Is it helpful or hurtful? Is it Inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Also, will it tear down or build up? Will it give honor and praise to God?”
God has given us a remarkable instrument called the mouth. And we have every reason to us it to the glory and praise of God, all because our Savior “opened not His mouth.”