Silent Before Accusers

What is your response when someone accuses you of things that you did not do? Is there an immediate need to return the accusation with your defense? If Jesus was the victim of misunderstanding and was unjustly accused and condemned to die, why didn’t He seek to defend Himself? The prophecies of the Messiah describes a Savior who will rest-silent before His accusers. He is coming for the express purpose of offering His life in exchange for the guilty. Isaiah wrote; seven hundred years before Matthew penned his words in the New Testament, yet the prophet records the precise manner of response that Jesus gave to those who accused Him.

Though the Messiah will be falsely accused, He will remain silent and not seek to defend Himself.

Isaiah 53:7b 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.

New Testament Fulfillment:

Matthew 27:12-14 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.

A Time For Silence:

Which one of us, when falsely accused by anyone, would not seek to defend ourselves before our accusers?

Even those who know that they are guilty will always speak up to vindicate themselves. To be accused of the crimes that were attached to Jesus, should have invoked a Holy and Righteous response from Him. He had—at His disposal, legions of angels that could have come to His rescue and take Him from the ravenous wolves who falsely and unjustly tried to convict Him of crimes to which He was innocent. Yet, Jesus spoke not a word of defense for Himself.

Why?

We must remember that Jesus was representing all of us at the place of judgment for our sins. Jesus volunteered to stand in our place and bear the full wrath of God’s judgment that we deserved. Because all of us are guilty before a Holy God, we can offer no excuse for the wrongs that we have done. We are aware, in our conscience, when we commit wrongful acts. We also know that there is no credible excuse for the fact that we willingly choose to sin everyday.

In the year that king Uzziah of Judah died, Isaiah was given a glimpse of heaven and the Lord sitting upon His throne of Glory. These are the thoughts of Isaiah as he spoke not a word in the presence of God, contemplating what would happen to him:

“Then I said, Its all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heavens Armies.”[1]

If any of us were to stand before God, we would be silent with no strength to lift our eyes or our voices. In every case where the scriptures describe a man who was given the opportunity to see the Lord, they were all without strength and unable to utter a word.[2]

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead…Revelation 1:17

It was for this reason that Jesus stood, before His accuser, silent.

Though He Himself had committed no sin, Jesus bore all of our sins and was made sin for our benefit.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Those who witnessed Jesus’ silence before His accusers; marveled that He did not seek to defend Himself. Their amazement likely originated from the fact that they were aware that the charges against Jesus were false. Most of those who observed the drama of Jesus’ arrest and conviction were conscious of the fact that He was an innocent man. They must have believed that when Jesus had the opportunity to defend Himself, that He would have risen to do so. When Jesus said nothing, it literally “blew the minds” of those who were anticipating His defense.

Mark 15:5 But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.

Pilate had see many men stand before him. Most were guilty and all had vigorously sought to plead their innocence. This was likely the very first time in his life that the Roman procurator had see a man refuse to defend himself. It is clear by this time that Pilate had doubts about the guilt of Jesus and by the insistence of his wife, he may have determined to set Jesus free at the first opportunity.[3]

To comprehend the reality of Jesus’ innocence, while He was killed for crimes that we have all committed, our hearts should break out in confession and thanksgiving for His benevolent grace.

Jesus was accused, yet He did not speak-up to defend Himself. He did not seek to prevent His death, nor persuade those who accused Him that He had not done what was alleged. He gave no answer because He earnestly desired that He might pay the penalty which we owed for our sins. Jesus did this so that none of us would ever have to stand before God and feel His full wrath leveled against the sins we have committed.

It is amazing when we consider that Isaiah wrote that the Messiah would be silent before His accusers, almost seven hundred years before Jesus was arrested and sentenced to death.

Isaiah Chapter 53 contains 38 of the most detailed and descriptive verses of scripture for precisely what the Messiah will accomplish when He arrives; more than any other single location for predictive verses of scripture found in the Bible.

• Who will believe: Isaiah 53:1
• He will come from a poor family: Isaiah 53:2
• No Physical Beauty: Isaiah 53:2
• He will be despised: Isaiah 53:3a
• He will be rejected: Isaiah 53:3b
• He is a man of sorrows: Isaiah 53:3c
• They will hide from Him: Isaiah 53:3d
• He will bear our grief: Isaiah 53:4a
• He will carry our sorrow: Isaiah 53:4b
• Thought to suffer for His own sins: Isaiah 53:4c
• He will pay for our sins: Isaiah 53:5a
• He will make peace for us: Isaiah 53:5b
• By His scourging we are healed: Isaiah 53:5c
• He will bear all our sins: Isaiah 53:6a
• All our sins will be laid on Him: Isaiah 53:6b
• He will be oppressed and afflicted: Isaiah 53:7a
• He will not defend Himself: Isaiah 53:7b
• Led as a Lamb to the slaughter: Isaiah 53:7c
• He will be arrested: Isaiah 53:8a
• His trials will be unjust: Isaiah 53:8b
• He will be killed: Isaiah 53:8c
• His life is the payment for our sins: Isaiah 53:8d
• Buried in a rich man’s gravesite: Isaiah 53:9a
• Accused, but innocent: Isaiah 53:9b
• He will bear witness of the truth: Isaiah 53:9c
• It pleased God to punish Him for us: Isaiah 53:10a
• His life, an offering for our sins: Isaiah 53:10b
• He will see those whom He has saved: Isaiah 53:10c
• His salvation for us will succeed: Isaiah 53:10d
• He will see His plan ahead of time: Isaiah 53:11a
• He will come as the servant of God: Isaiah 53:11b
• He will justify those who believe: Isaiah 53:11c
• He will bear all of our sins: Isaiah 53:11d
• His name exalted above all names: Isaiah 53:12a
• He will pour out His life for us: Isaiah 53:12b
• He will be killed with criminals: Isaiah 53:12c
• He will bear the sins of the world: Isaiah 53:12d
• He will pray for those who kill Him: Isaiah 53:12e

When we read the entire 38 prophecies of the Messiah’s death as described by the prophet Isaiah, we realize that it is not an accident that these things were written. Isaiah was moved and inspired by the Holy Spirit to give us credible, solid evidence; that would enable anyone to correctly identify who the Messiah was. Jesus fulfilled, not just a few of these distinct prophecies of the Messiah; He perfectly fulfilled all the Prophecies of the Messiah. For detailed information regarding the Servant of Isaiah 53, see the book by the same author: “The Suffering Servant,” by Robert Clifton Robinson, at Amazon.

See the chapter: Coming With Authority, for information regarding how the Messiah shall exercise His authority over the leaders of Israel and shut their mouths.


[1] Isaiah 6:5, NLT
[2] Revelation 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.
[3] Matthew 27:19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”