My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.
— Matthew 26:39
I and the Father are one.
— John 10:30
Jesus both prayed to and identified with his Father. Depending on the time or situation, he operated from a different level of consciousness. He spoke of himself from different perspectives. As the Son, he looked to his Father for guidance, comfort, and insight. As the Father, he looked with compassion on himself as Son, at times speaking directly through the Son:
Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am!
The Pharisees recognized this as the name of God: I AM that I AM. It is the One who is always everywhere present. As the Creator behind everything we see and experience, God is the very ground of being, beyond space and time, infinite and eternal. And this is Who Jesus identified with! He yielded himself to this higher Intelligence and explained what he was doing to his followers:
The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
He was in essence accessing a part of himself—the part that always has been and always will be, the part that is impervious to the trials and tribulations of life, the part that sees things from an eternal perspective. This relationship and this identification are what enabled Jesus to do what he did: love people so profoundly, teach deep spiritual wisdom, perform miraculous healings, and, especially, offer up his bodily life as a sacrifice, willingly going to the Cross. He saw himself as more than just his body; otherwise, it wouldn’t make any sense (or do any good) to die. From this higher level of awareness, he knew that his death would not be his end.
We too can experience God as our Father/Mother and ourselves as His child. The Spirit that rested on Jesus (John 1:32-24) and enabled him to enter into this intimate relationship is promised to us as well:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and is in you.
There is an implicit ambiguity, a seeming contradiction, in this promise—that the Spirit will be in us and that the Spirit is in us, forever. It’s a classic paradox. Stated another way, to be filled with the Spirit is to realize that you already are filled with the Spirit. It is to awaken to your identity as a child of God, to your heritage and your DNA. Jesus did not hoard this heritage or let it go to his head, although he was tempted to do so (Luke 4:5-7), just as we would have been. His resistance to that temptation allowed him to keep open that powerful channel of God’s Spirit, showing us what it means to live life as a Son or Daughter of God.
If we look within, embracing our true identity, we will find that the Father is there too, and so is the Son—”Christ in you, the hope of glory,” and so is the Spirit. Through prayer and meditation, we can get glimpses of the loving awareness that contains us and ultimately is us. Like the person in her car who suddenly realizes she’s not just stuck in traffic but that she is the traffic, one day we may realize who the Universe is.