“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” — Isaiah 53:7 (NIV)
When it came to the day of the crucifixion, Jesus was strangely quiet before His accusers. Just days before, it was He who silenced the Pharisees and the teachers of the law as He taught in the temple. Jesus had this way of communicating the truth with such authority that many feared confronting Him, and those who did were generally silenced. So, why on this day was Jesus silent? Why didn’t He bring a defense before the high priest and Herod? All He had to do was speak a truthful defense and He could have gotten Himself out of the misery and suffering that was soon to befall Him. “Yet He did not open His mouth.” Why?
I think the key is in the prior verse. Isaiah prophetically said, “He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.” We must remember the words used by John the Baptist just before Jesus began His ministry, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” As shocking as it appears, Jesus was silent so that they would crucify Him. He came into this world so that He would be our substitute and savior. Any kind of defense would have prevented the crucifixion and hence would have prevented our salvation. So Jesus silently went through the trials, beatings, scourging and crucifixion so that He would fulfill all of the Old Testament prophecies and be the (once and for all) Passover lamb that would save and redeem all of humanity.
Don’t misunderstand the silence of Good Friday. Jesus wasn’t the victim, but rather He was the Victor. His ultimate battle was not with Pilate, Herod or the Jewish religious leaders. It was with Satan, and Jesus used the silence of that day to get under Satan’s radar so that He could, through the crucifixion, crush his head. Isn’t that just like our God, doing His greatest acts in earthly silence? His second greatest act of silence is when he touches a person’s heart with His Holy Spirit and creates faith. Nothing is heard on this side of eternity, but if you listen closely, you can hear angels rejoicing in Heaven.