Print Sermon

These sermon manuscripts and videos now go out to about 116,000 computers in over 215 countries every month at www.sermonsfortheworld.com. Hundreds of others watch the videos on YouTube, but they soon leave YouTube and come to our website, because each sermon directs them away from YouTube to our website. YouTube feeds people to our website. The sermon manuscripts are given in 34 languages to thousands of people each and every month. The sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted, so preachers can use them without our permission. Please click here to learn how you can make a monthly donation to help us in this great work of spreading the Gospel to the whole world, including the Muslim and Hindu nations.

Whenever you write to Dr. Hymers always tell him what country you live in, or he cannot answer you. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net.




THE SILENCE OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord's Day Morning, April 4, 2004
at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly" (Matthew 27:13-14).


Now, this morning I am speaking on "The Silence of Christ." He was not always silent. He preached and witnessed and pleaded with sinners to get saved all during His earthly ministry. But as the final day of His earthly life approached, He became largely silent in the face of His enemies.

The Roman soldiers arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. They took Him to Caiaphas the high priest. He stood before the greatest religious court in the world of His time. The high priest questioned Him

"…and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace"
     (Matthew 26:62-63).

Then the soldiers took Him to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. Again, the same silence.

"Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly"
     (Matthew 27:13-14).

Then the soldiers took Him to Herod.

"And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing" (Luke 23:8-9).

Sometimes Jesus answered these men. But there were other times that He remained silent. The silence of Jesus at these times is important for three reasons.

I. First, His silence fulfilled prophecy.

The prophet Isaiah foretold that silence seven hundred years earlier. Isaiah said,

"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth"
     (Isaiah 53:7).

He did not defend Himself. He did not say that He was innocent of doing wrong, even though He was innocent. He had the power to escape from execution, but He did not use this power. He went silently to the Cross out of obedience to God the Father.

"I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it"
     (Psalm 39:9).

"Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously" (I Peter 2:23).

Matthew Henry said,

He conducted Himself under his sufferings so as to make it appear that he did not suffer as an evil-doer; for, though he was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth, no, not so much as to plead his own innocency, but freely offered himself to suffer and die for us, and objected nothing against it (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, Hendrickson, 1996 reprint, volume 4, p. 239).

He went to the Cross with no objection or complaint. He went silently to His death to pay the penalty for our sins, as our substitute, in our place. There is nothing left for you to do but trust Jesus. Come to Him, and all your sins are forgiven, cleansed by the Blood of the Saviour, who went to the Cross as silently as a lamb goes to be butchered. His silence was foretold seven hundred years earlier by the prophet Isaiah,

"yet he opened not his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7).

II. Second, His silence showed His power and majesty.

The Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, had seen many convicted criminals. They all tried to talk their way out of being punished. But Jesus was completely different. This amazed Pilate.

"And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly" (Matthew 27:12-14).

The governor was quite amazed by His silence.

"Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above…" 
      (John 19:10-11).

Jesus told Pilate that the power he possessed as governor had been given to him by God. Pilate would have had no power at all to harm Jesus if God had not given it to him.

"Him [Christ], being delivered by the determinate counsel [predetermined plan] and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Acts 2:23).

"For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done" (Acts 4:27-28).

Christ was silent before His accusers because He knew that it was God's plan and God's will for Him to die on the Cross to pay the penalty for human sin.

The silence of Christ showed His power and majesty as God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity.

"Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above" (John 19:11).

Dr. John R. Rice said,

No man took His life from Him. He laid it down Himself (John 10:18). On the cross He "gave up the ghost" at His own time and choice (Dr. John R. Rice, The Son of God, Sword of the Lord, 1976, p. 365).

III. Third, His silence showed that God has "hid these things
from the wise and prudent."

Jesus did not answer the false witnesses of the high priest (Matthew 26:59-63a). Jesus did not answer the accusations of the chief priests and elders, when they accused Him before Pilate (Matthew 27:12-14). Jesus did not answer Herod when he questioned Him "with many words" (Luke 23:9). Jesus did not answer Pilate, when the governor asked Him, "Where do you come from?" (cf. John 19:9).

The third reason Jesus did not answer them is that He hides the truth from those who are self-satisfied and conceited in their own wisdom. Please turn to Matthew 11:25-26. Let us stand and read these two verses aloud.

"At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight" 
      (Matthew 11:25-26).

You may be seated.

Dr. John R. Rice gave these comments:

Notice the blessed doctrine in verse 25. God deliberately reveals Himself and His plans more to the poor than the rich, more to the humble than the proud, more to the unlearned than to the wise and prudent. Wisdom and prudence are a handicap in knowing the will of God if one thinks about his wisdom and depends on his knowledge instead of childlike and humble faith… "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise" and the weak to confound the mighty (Dr. John R. Rice, The Gospel According to Matthew, Sword of the Lord, 1980, pp. 171-172).

If you want Jesus to forgive your sins and save your soul, you must come to Him humbly, and trust Him. Look at Matthew 11:28. Let's stand and read it out loud.

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

Will you come to Jesus? If you come to Him, His Blood will wash away your sin and you will have everlasting life.


(END OF SERMON)

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Luke 23:6-11.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels" (by Ray Overholt, 1959).

THE OUTLINE OF

THE SILENCE OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly" (Matthew 27:13-14).

(Matthew 26:62-63; Luke 23:8-9)

I.   His silence fulfilled prophecy, Isaiah 53:7; Psalm 39:9;
I Peter 2:23.

II.  His silence showed His power and majesty, John 19:10-11;
Acts 2:23; 4:27-28.

III. His silence showed that God has "hid these things from the
wise and prudent," Matthew 26:59-63a; 27:12-14;
Luke 23:9; John 19:9; Matthew 11:25-26, 28.

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."