|Mama O, second from right, ministering to some women and children of the island.|
The same reoccurring question popped in my head this week as I read Luke's account of Christ's crucifixion.
"Where were they?"
Where were all of the hundreds and thousands of people who experienced Jesus' healing touch, who ate blessed food multiplied by His hands, who heard and were changed by His powerful teachings. Why did those who were miraculously set free from demonic possession, not step forward and say, "He saved me! Do not crucify Him!"
I understand it was God's sovereign will and plan that Christ would make this atoning sacrifice for the entire world on that rugged cross. But, I still wonder... Where were they?
Then I read:
Luke 23:27 - "A large crowd trailed behind (as Jesus carried the cross to Golgotha), including many grief-stricken women."
And verse 49: "But Jesus' friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching."
They were there, but as if invisible - as if they had no voice. Even if they had spoken, protested or shouted - who would have listened?
As Jesus talked with the men walking in Emmaus, they commented: "But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified Him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel." (vs. 20-21a)
They had counted on Jesus being their "Voice" - to support, defend them, to lead them in overthrowing the Roman tyrannical government, to finally set them free. And now this Voice had been unjustly silenced by the people's very own religious and political leaders.
Here in Uganda, I often hear of "voices" being silenced or not being heard. Voicing an opinion is not encouraged in this culture and if someone does, they are often criticized for letting out what may not be "acceptable."
The voices of children, youth and women are especially not encouraged. Those with enough power or money are often given the platform to proclaim their "voices." Until you have one or both of those, you really have no "right" to have a say.
While the early followers and disciples were devastated by the crucifixion of their Messiah, no doubt that by Sunday - they were raising their voices in incredible surprise and immeasurable joy at His resurrection!
He had not been silenced. The Voice of incredible hope, of salvation, of eternal victory was alive!
Jesus gives hope to the hopeless, joy to the discouraged, an entrance to the ignored, a hearing to the despised, a standing to the marginalized. He becomes the Voice for the voiceless.
"He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for His instruction." - Isaiah 42:3-4
As a follower of Christ, are you using your voice to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves?
How are you representing the "Voice" of Christ in the world?