Mark 14:60-65 (NRSV):
Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
They all condemned him as worthy of death. Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him.
In an attempt to force Jesus into a confession of guilt so as to justify their desire to kill Him, the Jewish council asks Jesus a series of questions. He does not offer a defense. He knows what they are doing, and He is not going to participate in the charade.
Yet, when they ask Him about His identity, He finally speaks. When asked, “Are you the Messiah,” Jesus answers in a very pointed way, “I am.” This was not a phrase spoken often in public. It is a shocking statement to make, for it was God Himself who told Moses that He was to be identified as, “I am.” Jesus has just addressed Himself as God before the crowd trying to find means to kill Him. Now, in their mind, He has committed blasphemy by equating Himself to God.
How does Jesus claim of being God affect you? It is not something we should be indifferent about. It is either a glorious truth or a scandalous lie. It should either draw us to want His name to be glorified above all others or draw us to want His name snuffed out from history. Jesus is telling us who He is. How we respond to that name will mean everything.
Hearing afresh the scandalous claim from Christ Himself that He is God, where does this claim take your heart?
Father, thank you for coming in the Person of Jesus, our Messiah. We know not how serious a claim it is to say, “I am” has saved us; yet, we are a people who are striving to understand and to take serious such a claim. Bless us, Lord, with hearts and minds that constantly grasp, again and again, this truth. Amen.
-Rev. Tab Miller