Good Friday: A day that God was silent. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Jesus stood there in silence. It was a kangaroo court raging with accusation after accusation. He was asked to answer the charges, but he pleaded the fifth when there was no fifth to be pled. The charges were baseless, false, and twisted, but the Truth stayed silent. What should he say to quiet their anger? His silence spoke volumes. It became a screen upon which to hurl the wild imaginations of guilty and suspicious minds. Why wouldn’t he answer? His silence would condemn him, but his curse would be our salvation. Good Friday encompasses the silence of God, even as it focuses on our salvation in the cross of Christ. “Pilate again asked him, ‘Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you?’ But Jesus made no further answer” (Mark 15:4-5). He pled the fifth, not for his sake, but for ours.
Admittedly, the silence is frustrating when there is so much evil in this world. We mortals see evil and feel the need to call it out. God’s silence can be deafening. But it ought to make us pause in dumb-struck awe along with Pilate. God’s silence in the face of the evil of this world is so profound; this silence became our salvation on the cross. It is there on the cross that Jesus, very God of very God and light of light, wrestled with the silence of God in the face of evil for all humanity.
What God has done, on this day, is he has delivered salvation for us. Yes, in silence, in death, but it is the way that God has united himself with us and it is in his resurrection that he says, “Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations” (Ps 46:10). So we greet Good Friday, silent and still before the mystery of silence, our salvation. Our hope.