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HE OPENED NOT HIS MOUTH – 6 Aug 2004

Is 53:7  He was oppressed and He was afflicted, but He opened not His mouth; as a lamb to the slaughter He was led, and as a ewe before her shearers is silent, and He opened not His mouth.

1Cor 11:26  For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

Jesus identifies with us as human beings.  God was manifested in the flesh.  He identifies with us in our sinful condition in that He was baptized, signifying that we need to be cleansed, purified – even dead – to rid ourselves of sin and to receive a new life unto righteousness.

We know through faith that Jesus is our Passover Lamb, whose blood delivers us from the wrath and judgment of God; Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world to make way for the Kingdom of God on Earth as in Heaven; Jesus is the Lamb upon the Throne in Heaven, ruling over all creation.  In all these, we see Jesus set apart, holy-holy-holy, high and exalted!

But in Isaiah 53, our great God and Savior is described as being like a lamb and like a ewe (a female sheep).  A lamb or sheep has no special strength or power; no special honor; is not very smart;  even smells bad!  We think of sheep as innocent and cute that do not intentionally cause trouble.  But because of their dependency upon a “caretaker”, they do require a lot of tending. The only thing a living sheep has to give its owner is its wool once a year.   Normal sheep like to be with a flock or a group of three or more (gregarious).  They have a high degree of independence at birth (precocial), meaning that they can stand on their feet shortly after birth.  Sheep are defenseless against predators like wolves, or against human accusers wanting to destroy them, or to scatter them from the flock and their shepherd.

Like a lamb or a ewe, Jesus did not open His mouth in complaint or in rebellion – not against Caiphas the High Priest, not against Pilate nor Herod, not against Judas His betrayer nor against those who struck Him, spit on Him, scorned Him.  When the time had come to go to the cross because of your sin and mine, Jesus accepted this from God His Father, knowing that the price for our salvation was not only His sacrificial death by crucifixion, but also by bearing the full wrath and judgment from God for taking our place for sin.  He tasted death and its darkness, separated from God who is Light.  He identified with us even while we were His enemies and the cause of His suffering!  We see and feel in our own spirits with the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Truth – that Jesus never regretted what He came to do, even though He felt the enormity of the price upon His soul even while in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Yet He did not open His mouth to defend His innocence or His righteousness or to complain about such “unfair” treatment, whether by man, the devil, or God.

Jesus was completely submitted to do the will of His Father.  The triune God determined this Way before the foundation of the world.

Jesus was completely under control, emotionally and mentally.  God, who knows the heart, completely vindicated Jesus by His resurrection from the dead.

Jesus was completely certain of the glory of God and His on the other side of the pain and shame of the cross.   He knew, too, that you and I would be part of the harvest of His sowing the labor of His soul unto death, and He is satisfied!

Jesus is the scapegoat for the world’s troubles and mankind’s problems.  We were in agreement with those who accused Him falsely until the Holy Spirit convicted us of our sin and rebellion against love and righteousness and truth. . .against God our Creator and Redeemer.  And He opened not His mouth.

As we take the Lord’s Supper together, let us examine and judge ourselves as to our own personality and character, and, with the holy choir around the Throne, sing a new song with our lives.  (Rev 5:9-14)  Amen!

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