My son sweated blood. This gave me an insight into the suffering of Jesus in Gethsemane. I will tell you about the event and the insight.
My son lied to me about hitting his sister.
Once we discussed the situation and he finally confessed the truth, he was faced with righting the wrongs.
As a four year old he wrestled with what the standard is, his deviation from the standard, and what it took to make things right.
When he came through it I looked at his face and saw he had sweated blood.
He literally sweated blood.
The situation was so intense for him the capillaries in his facial sweat glands broke and a tiny bit of blood came through (medical book explanation). Not enough to run down his face, it was just enough to color the pores. And you had to look close to even realize it. Two days later his skin was back to normal.
Have you ever sweat blood? I have not. I have been through some extreme things, dreading suffering, close to death, and my facial pores stayed free of blood.
I think it was the weight in soul and spirit that caused my son to sweat blood. And that was a tiny glimpse of what Jesus suffered in Gethsemane.
Jesus as fully God and fully man, with no sin, knew God’s standards, took our sin on His being, and knowing every detail of His coming suffering He faced the most cruel, torturous death devised: beating and crucifixion. Under that agony He sweated blood. Which makes the skin more sensitive.
He came to His own and His own did not receive Him. Instead they put Him through a mockery of a fake trial. They ripped His beard out. They masked His eyes and punched Him. They beat Him till His bones showed through His broken skin. They smashed a crown of thorns onto His head. They nailed through the nerve centers of His wrists, excruciating, to a beam that was raised up and fastened to an upright post so all His weight was on those nails, excruciating. His feet were nailed to the upright post, excruciating. It is very difficult to breathe in that position.
Crucifixion produced pain so intense, so beyond anything else, they had to come up with a new word for it: excruciating, meaning “out of the cross.” Your weight hanging on a nail through the nerve center of your wrist is excruciating. Think twice before using that word for lesser pains.
And He did it all having sweated blood which makes the skin more sensitive.
It is hard to know whether the blood loss or asphyxiation killed Jesus. Either way His heart’s response was to increase the beats per minute shortly before the end, which signaled Him to say, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”
The Roman soldiers, experts at killing people in painful ways to intimidate cities and nations into obedience, were surprised that Jesus died before the two others crucified that day. One stabbed Jesus with a spear, which released blood … and water! The water was from the lungs and/or heart lining, the accumulation being an aspect of death and the release conclusive proof that Jesus died.
(For more details I recommend “The Case for Easter” by investigative journalist Lee Strobel and the excellent resources he references.)
My point is Jesus knew beforehand in Gethsemane all the details of the suffering He was about to undergo. Combine that detailed knowledge of pain with the full knowledge of the standards of God and with bearing the sin of the world. That agony was so intense Jesus, the perfect Man, asked Father God if there was another way. There was not.
The weight and anguish of it caused Jesus to sweat blood.
Jesus submitted to the process, took our sin and bore it on the cross.
In my description of Jesus’ suffering I said “they” did it to Him. But it was our sin that did it to him, yours and mine. Without our sin there would have been no reason for Jesus to have gone through that experience. He took our place. He took our sin. He went to the cross.
He sweated blood, He shed blood, He died in your place that you might go free.
Will you follow Him? Will you love Him?
Will you love Him enough to resist sin to the point of shedding your own blood in the struggle? To sweat blood?
Will you love your spouse enough to resist sin to the point of shedding your own blood in the struggle? To sweat blood?