He opened not his mouth

A short story about one man with two songs

There was never a moment when he was not, but there was a time when he grew before us.

It wasn’t whether he had beauty or not, for certainly, he did. Rather, it was what we were able to recognize. We didn’t see it. And not just ourselves but the entire generation. None of us saw the beauty. There wasn’t a single one of us who desired him.

It was not neutral either. So great was our lack of desire, that it became hate. We despised him and in fact, so little did we think of him, we felt we could treat him however we wanted.

He became a worm to us, to be trampled underfoot. A root out of dry ground, always stepped over, never to be watered.

This was how we thought of him whenever we saw him - completely despised, utterly rejected. And as such, a song was written, sung each time he passed by:

Oh, man of sorrows, acquainted with grief;

From you our faces we hide, all of you we loathe and despise.

Some blamed his condition on God, some on the devil, others knew not what made him so detestable, they just knew for certain that he was born to be stricken, smitten, and afflicted.

He carried about in his body this hate, bearing the grief. So intense was this sorrow that it would roll down his face as tears and sweat from his forehead as blood. Yet, even in all of this, he opened not his mouth.

Eventually, our feelings of hatred turned, as they always do, into actions of violence.

This innocent one led as a lamb to the slaughter. And just as a lamb is silent before its shearers, so too he opened not his mouth.

As he was wounded, he opened not his mouth. As he was bruised, he opened not his mouth. As the Lord crushed him severely, he opened not his mouth. And even as he was cut off from the land of the living, he opened not his mouth.

In all these things, never once did he open his mouth demanding to be esteemed, asking to be set free, or calling out for deliverance that surely would have come if only he had spoken.

And yet even as he stayed silent, another song was being sung:

Worthy is the lamb, for you were slain;

and by your blood, you ransomed people for God.

From every tribe and tongue, you have saved them;

And by your stripes, we are healed.

“About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”

Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture, he told him the good news about Jesus.

“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.”

As we hear this story of one who stayed silent, let us today open our mouths and confess - Jesus is Lord.

Let us believe in our hearts that God raised this silent lamb from the dead.

And let us, from this day forward, “Walk in the light as He is in the light.” Knowing that, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

In love,

Derek