Jesus goes further in to know our shattering, experiencing it for himself.
There’s a quote from CS Lewis’ The Last Battle that I’ve quoted often to myself, “Come! Further up and further in!” It’s such a good analogy of perseverance in the battles of life.
But Erin applies it to Jesus here, in the garden praying. He has been “further in” to suffering than any of us. And this Maundy Thursday scene is just the tip of the iceberg he will face.
Jesus has experienced what I tend to call “shattering“. And therefore, he knows our own shatterings. Not just a surface knowledge either, but an experiential knowledge–having been on his face, alone, before God, asking for the plan to change. Asking for a different path to take. And still clinging to a shred of truth that it is still God’s will that will be done. He’s not afraid to feel the emotions, the very raw emotions, that come with that truth. It’s not a stoic submission; it’s a wrestling. A rendering. A shattering of what he wants, in exchange for what God has willed.
At first, God seems silent here, along with the sleeping disciples. It is interesting here that Jesus doesn’t get to receive his friends’ comfort–mostly because they probably wouldn’t be able to truly comfort him, even if they were awake.
But I think that means that God wasn’t silent. I don’t think that Jesus, or anyone, could get up from these kinds of shattering, wrestling prayers without God, audibly or not, comforting him.
In his own shattering, Jesus finds the foundation that keeps him walking forward. Further in.
Towards more shattering. Towards the cross. For us. For our own shatterings.
So that when we face this shattering of our own plans, hopes, dreams–finding ourselves in the dark, wresting and rendering, asking for things to be different–we can look to him who went further in than we ever will. Because in his shattering, he makes our foundation possible.