Thanks for Nothing, Jesus . . . It Meant Everything
Thanks for nothing, Jesus . . . a thought that replayed in my mind this week as I read through the crucifixion story. Because in the midst of cruelty and suffering, that’s exactly what Jesus did—nothing.
Falsely accused by the high priest, standing in front of the Sanhedrin, commanded to defend himself, Jesus remained silent (Matthew 26:60-63). He could have called on His Father, the God these men claimed to know, to descend and call out in a booming voice, revealing the truth of who Jesus was, but instead, he did nothing.
“Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?” (Matthew 26:67-68). And yet, Jesus did nothing.
He could have unveiled not only who had struck him, but their innermost thoughts and never-spoken feelings, but instead, he did nothing.
Not satisfied by the punishment within their own power, the religious leaders handed Jesus over to the Roman authority of Pontius Pilate. “Then Pilate asked him, ‘Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?’ But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor” (Matthew 27:13-14). He could have argued, called attention to the false accusations, recounted all the good he had done, even reminded the Roman governor of his urging to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and God what is God’s, but instead, he did nothing.
“Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him” (Matthew 27:27-31). Jesus could have raised up an army of angels, poised to destroy those who mocked and beat him, but instead, he did nothing.
Hanging from the cross, the rebels crucified beside him and those who passed by hurled insults at him (Matthew 27:38-39).
“In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God’” (Matthew 27:41-43). Jesus could have indeed saved himself, he could have pulled the nails from his hands and feet, he could have miraculously healed his own body and literally floated down from the cross, but instead, he did nothing.
The only words uttered by the Messiah on the cross were “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) and “It is finished” (John 19:30).
Jesus with all the power of Heaven and the authority of God could have avoided the pain and suffering of the cross. He could have displayed his glory and majesty as the crowds mocked, beat, and scorned him.
But instead, he did nothing.
And in doing nothing, he fulfilled God’s perfect plan of redemption. In doing nothing, he accepted the wrath of God aimed at the people and the sins of generations before him and after him. In doing nothing, he satisfied the sacrifice necessary to restore a right relationship between God and man.
Moment after moment throughout the crucifixion story, we see that Jesus did nothing, and in the end, it meant everything.