He just took it. The misuse of power…the calculated baiting…the mockery. When they tried to trick him into a self-damning confession, he said nothing. When the system of justice proved once and for all to be broken irrevocably, he let them take him. When Peter saved himself rather than his friend, he knew it. And when Pilate washed his hands of fortitude, he braced his shoulders and turned towards the cross.
“Blessed are those who are meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5). He had just spoken those words not long before. With words he taught them about meekness along with gentleness, hunger, and thirst. Now he would teach them with his life.
Meekness. Strength under control. Being able to do something but choosing not to. Aware, alert to the larger story at stake and acting with restraint for its sake.
Meek in the face of injustice provoking outrage when it hits our minds. Meek in the face of injustice so horrifying our hearts can’t take it in. How is it possible our system of checks and balances can be so ineffectual…so malleable…so benign? How is it that we leave the innocent to the hands of the wicked, our voices muted in a kind of false silence, and too loud over the wrong things? We’re like Peter…chopping off ears before saving ourselves.
Who will make this right? Lament forms in our souls. Tears seep from our eyes. Wails over what cannot be undone tear from our chests. We look around for Jesus. Where is he?
He is standing before his accusers, leading with his life.
Jesus did not allow himself to be muted; he chose to be silent. There’s a difference.
How often we mistake meekness for weakness. In our pain we fight for immediate justice, at times mistaking silence for passivity and actions for purpose. We forget that in the end, in a time that is not now, the meek inherit the earth.
The question is, is it worth it to us to wait? To endure? To hope?
Oh, that meekness would rise and rise again in us…to go freely and gently into the dark, to live with intentioned restraint, and to allow the disgrace of injustice to serve a bigger, more important story than ours. This sacrifice. This strength. This silence.
Can you imagine the kinds of questions people would ask of us if we looked like that?
This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.
While being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.
–1 Peter 2:21-23 MSG