Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Dumb Lamb

As the Passion approaches, I have began to re-read The Cross He Bore by Frederick S Leahy. (Check out this post for more information.) I am reading a chapter a day and will finish the book on the morning of Good Friday.

Today's chapter is titled "The Dumb Lamb" and it deals specifically with the silence of Christ as He stood before His accusers, the Sanhedrin and the High Priest. When He was falsely accused, He stood silent. Leahy explains the reason for Christ's silence this way, "God does not unfold his mysteries to the wicked. The members of the Sanhedrin were not seekers after truth: they were murderers at heart."

In the last part of the chapter on the majesty of Christ's silence, Leahy concludes with these thoughts: "All too often Christ's silence has been given a dangerous one-sidedness, as his passive obedience is stressed almost, if not altogether, to the exclusion of his active obedience. Christ's silence was deliberate, emphatic and authoritative: it was his deed. . . . Because of his sublime and sovereign silence, he has earned the right to speak eternally. His silence was an act of mighty obedience to his Father's will and a compliance with that wondrous mission entrusted to him in the counsels of eternity. . . . In that ecclesiastical court Satan was tempting Christ with his own riddle, twisted though it was. By a single word he might have freed himself from his enemies. But our silent Priest continued majestically to his death. O blessed silence that lay at the heart of our redemption! . . . This Holy Temple, the subject of the riddle, could now be broken down, to be raised in glory. Just as the first temple was erected without sound of hammer, or any iron tool (I Kings 6:7), so this Temple of Christ's body will be restored in a silence that nothing can profane."

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