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The Holy Sound of Silence

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We are in the middle of the Holy Week, the Passion Week, the final days before the Crucifixion. A brief summary of the preceding days:

Palm Sunday: Jesus, riding humbly on a donkey, enters Jerusalem to throngs of people waving palm branches and shouting, cheering, “Hosanna in the highest!” On this night and for the next few nights, he stays in Bethany, a town just outside the Holy City, probably at the home of his friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus (Mark 11:1-11).

Monday, Clearing the Temple: On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus curses a fig tree; He is angered by the corruption and greed in the Temple and drives out the money changers and sellers (Mark 11: 12-19).

Tuesday, the Mount of Olives: At the Temple in Jerusalem again, Jesus withstands challenges from the religious leaders and continues to teach and amaze the crowds; on the Mount of Olives, He teaches and prophesies about the end times and His second coming; Judas agrees to betray Jesus (Mark 11:20 – 14:1-11).

Wednesday: silence.

The fourth day of the Holy Week is known as Silent Wednesday because the Bible does not record what happened in Jesus’ life on this day. Scripture has other examples of Jesus resting, escaping the crowds and busyness, finding time to pray and be alone with His Abba, Father. But this may be the most powerful example of Sabbath, one that echoes loudest in its silence.

How did Jesus spend this one precious day? A moment to rest, perhaps. A final time to savour with friends. A pause in between full, exhausting days in Jerusalem and the momentous events to come. Silence, but not inactivity, just a blank page in history, a day that vanishes in the cracks of time.

In the evening of the next day, He would eat the Passover meal, His Last Supper, and events would be set in motion that would change the heavenly realms and human history.

But on this day, there is silence…

Find time today just to sit in silence before the Lord. Try not to “talk” too much – instead, listen. You could:

  • imagine how Jesus might have spent his last quiet, uneventful(?) day;
  • ask God where you can find time for more rest and silence in your life;
  • literally follow the command, “Be still, and know that I am God”;
  • ask God what He wants to say to you in the silence; or,
  • contemplate the magnitude of what Jesus Christ was about to undergo

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

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