The Silent Christ (Mark 15:1-5)

Nikolai Ge ,  Christ and Pilate  ("  What is truth?  "), 1890

Nikolai GeChrist and Pilate ("What is truth?"), 1890

Why, Jesus, no reply?
If ever defense was needed,
It was then,
When Pilate and the rabble
Confronted you.
You were not what you seemed--
Beaten, friendless, bound--
For you had trod the path of God,
And angels awaited your call.
These petty men had no idea
Of the Power they dared.

And yet you said nothing.

Yours was the last defense
Against the folly of men:
The silence of Love.
Oh, words may be prelude,
And daily in the Temple
They heard yours.
But when Satan has triumphed,
Blending the lies of men
With our own despairing doubts
To turn our virtue into pitch,
The time of words is past,
And we search the depths within
To find a place
Beyond defense,
Beyond our righteousness,
Beyond integrity,
To stand with the Silent Christ.

--Elton D. Higgs
June 20, 1977


Elton Higgs

Dr. Elton Higgs was a faculty member in the English department of the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 1965-2001. Having retired from UM-D as Prof. of English in 2001, he now lives with his wife and adult daughter in Jackson, MI.. He has published scholarly articles on Chaucer, Langland, the Pearl Poet, Shakespeare, and Milton. His self-published Collected Poems is online at He also published a couple dozen short articles in religious journals. (Ed.: Dr. Higgs was the most important mentor during undergrad for the creator of this website, and his influence was inestimable; it's thrilling to welcome this dear friend onboard.)