OceanSide church of Christ

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He Opened Not His Mouth
by: Dalton Gilreath

One of the most well-known Messianic prophecies is found in the fifty third chapter of Isaiah. The prophet foretells the suffering, the rejection, the scourging, and even the burden of sin Christ would endure on the cross. However, there is a phrase often overlooked by Christians that is commonly noted by the skeptics of our Lord. Isaiah wrote, ďHe was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouthĒ (Isaiah 53:7a, emp added). Obviously this cannot be taken literally as if He would not drink, eat, or even breathe through His mouth between the garden and the cross. We know this has reference to His speech, but skeptics are quick to remind us that Christ spoke several times from the garden to the cross. Does this prove the Bible is errant or that Christ wasnít really the Messiah?

When the prophet Isaiah referenced Christ not opening His mouth He didnít mean He would not speak a single word during His trials and crucifixion. Instead, Isaiah was referencing that Christ would not speak freely in giving a defense for Himself. If we compare Christ with men like Philip, Peter, and Paul we notice a significant difference in the amount of words used during their trials. Any other man would speak out to defend himself and attempt to have his charges dropped. Clearly Christ had more of a defense than in man ever had or ever will have. Yet, He chose to simply respond to their questions and speak Godís Word to a few individuals along the way (Matthew 27:11, Luke 23:43). In fact, there were times He chose not to speak at all (Matt 26:62-63). He didnít freely speak out to defend Himself or argue with his oppressors, nor did He call twelve legions of angels. What a powerful display of submission to God and love for mankind!