Summary: A short homily on Jesus words in front of the Sanhedrin in Mark 14:53-65
So here Jesus stands, alone, abandoned, facing his accusers who want nothing other than to see him dead and their order restored. Smeared with false allegations that don’t deserve an answer, and then the one question that matters…Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?
“I AM” the simple emphatic response that sums this whole passage up, if not the whole Bible from burning bush to new Jerusalem I AM rings loud. Finally, the Secret of who Jesus is, is a secret no more. Revealed by Christ himself. I AM Yet the irony could not be greater: in this kangaroo court, where the verdict is already decided and the sentence passed these words will only bring pain and death.
If Jesus was the Messiah, surely he would have sorted everything out: kicked out the Romans, restored Jerusalem to its rightful place. This pitiful, lonely, dangerous failure could not be it. If he was the Messiah the High priests had gotten it all wrong. If he was the Messiah, there would be judgement to come. Yet how could he be the Messiah in the eyes of the High priests? This man was not leading some great revolution, right?
In the midst of darkness, Jesus responds to his mission with this simple statement. With this statement he knows he is finally abandoning all defences and standing firm on his mission of death on the cross. In this moment rich with prophecies, connecting times ancient and modern even in this space, where prophecy is being fulfilled, the cry of Prophesy! rises from the lips of those who blindfold and yet are themselves blind to the only one who can show them the light in the darkness.
This is the Good News, this is our Good News. Jesus’ response of I AM calls to us. And because Jesus is, we, in accepting his invitation, have been adopted as sons and daughters of God also. We, have been in-dwelt with the Spirit, and as we seek to do God’s will and stand in darkness, when we are asked if we are children of God, we too can say “I am”, we can shine the light of Christ on those who dwell in darkness.
This is the invitation we accepted in our baptism, this is our calling. This is our battle cry. I am a child of God - and so are you.