Have You No Answer?
Ron Harmon, Council of Twelve Apostles
Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You say so.” Then the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate asked him again, “Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed. -Mark 15:2-5
Jesus’ refusal to play along with Pilate was a direct challenge to his authority. Is it possible his silence revealed more than he ever could with words? In Mark’s account Jesus does not speak again until his final words from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Our unquenchable thirst for certainty leads us to search for logical explanations and concrete symbols to explain events beyond our comprehension. Pilate did not receive a logical explanation. Only Jesus.
Jewish theologian Martin Buber called God “the unknowable” and “the essential mystery”. After years of study, ministry, and experience I am becoming more comfortable in the realm of unknowing. I again walk the journey to the cross, see unfathomable suffering, and have no answer beyond momentary glimpses of boundless and transforming love. I see unfathomable suffering in the world today and have no answer beyond divine yearnings of solidarity and vision for a different tomorrow.
Community of Christ President Stephen M. Veazey offers these words, “Through Christ something not fully explainable but utterly transforming has occurred” (“Share the Peace of Jesus Christ,” 2005 World Conference sermon). On this day, we confess we have no answer. We simply stand at the cross, embrace the inner desert of uncertainty, and offer our fully present selves with Jesus in this moment. We relinquish our need for control and certainty and wait in darkness and solitude.
At the cross, we struggle with the gravitational pull back to the known of our lives. We sense something more beckoning us through the darkness. This something more is worth losing our lives as they now are so we might find them anew in Christ. May we have the inner courage to go there.
I surrender into your love.
Set a timer for 20 minutes. (If that feels like too much at first, choose a time that will be comfortable for you as a starting place, committing to expand that time in future prayer.) Allow the rhythm of your breath to draw you deeper and deeper into silence. As you breathe, claim one sacred word (Christ, peace, grace, trust, etc.) emerging in you as an anchor to return you to the intention of your prayer when your thoughts begin to wander. Gently release the thoughts and images that come, making space for presence to the One who is with you here and now. Release, return, “be vulnerable to divine grace” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:10b).
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.