He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your Will to be done, not Mine.” Then an angel from Heaven appeared and strengthened Him. He prayed more fervently, and He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood ~ Luke 22:41-44
In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 14, verse 34, Jesus says, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.”
I have been meditating upon this for some time and I want to throw out to you a few thoughts.
Firstly, that Jesus while He was here on this earth was fully human and fully divine. In His humanity He experienced everything we do. Everything that afflicts our mortal bodies. The temptations in the wilderness, which He overcame with the Word of God. All the grief and loss and sickness that He saw around Him and was gracious enough to help and heal.
Secondly, in His humanity He would have experienced fear, and since He died for all our sicknesses and diseases and afflictions as well as our sins, fear would have been in that list.
So, in the garden, I believe He was experiencing such an horrendous fear of what was before Him, that His blood began to be shed at that point, even before His arrest. After all, that is why He came, to bear all our sins and sicknesses and all the rest of our afflictions. I think the fear was so great because He was about to take the whole world upon Himself that it became the world’s fears as well, and after His arrest and when He was tortured and mocked and scourged He was suffering all our illnesses and on the cross He bore our sins.
It’s very difficult for me to write what is in my head about this, because it so profoundly moves me.
Jesus’ whole life on this earth was our redemption. From the moment He got up and proclaimed:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favour has come.” Isaiah 61:1-2
This statement covers it all ~ fears, illnesses, and sin. Jesus bore it all for us while we were yet sinners. He loved us to death. I don’t know whether it’s scientifically possible for someone to experience such grief and fear that they sweat drops of blood, but I am very certain that Jesus did, not only because that is what the Word tells us, but because that is who He was. Our redeemer, our saviour, our freedom fighter and our healer.
He overcame temptation in the wilderness, and lived to fight many more days here on earth to accomplish that which He was sent to do.
He overcame fear in the garden of Gethsemane and went to the cross anyway, and gained freedom for us from that fear.
He had to have experienced all of humanity to be able to free us from tyranny and know and understand all the struggles we have as human beings here on this earth.
He shed drops of blood as He prayed about His fear and therefore understands your fears today. Whatever they may be, sit down somewhere quiet and give them all over to the one who understands and cares for you. Because He’s been through it too.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you ~ 1 Peter 5:7