I have recently started reading a book written by Isak Burger in conjunction with a forensic pathologist. The purpose of the book is to provide medical information about the actual physical impact of what has happened to Jesus from when he was praying in Getsemane up to when he died on the cross.
The first thing that I’ve found very interesting, is the reference in Luke 22:44 “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” If you read this verse, you tend to think that this a comparison – meaning that his sweat was like drops of blood. But this actually refers to a condition called Hematidrosis, which is quite rare and is caused by extreme levels of stress and anxiety.
The term is from Ancient Greek and is a combination of two words: heima (meaning blood) and hidros (meaning sweat).
When Jesus was praying in Getsemane he was in great agony. So what actually happened to Him physically in order for his sweat to fall to the ground like drops of blood?
The sweat glands are surrounded by many blood vessels in a net-like form. When under extreme stress, these vessels constrict. Once the anxiety passes, these vessels expand to a point where it actually ruptures. The blood then goes into the sweat glands. Since we sweat more when we stress, this blood is pushed to the surface, and appears as droplets of blood mixed with sweat.
I know we all go through hard times in life. We all have experienced times of utter helplessness and despair. We know what it is like to suffer from stress and anxiety. But did any of these situations ever cause your sweat to fall like drops of blood?
Don’t get me wrong! I am not trying to minimize your pain and heartache. I just think we can take comfort knowing that Jesus knows! He knows what it is to be stressed and in agony. He understands emotional pain and despair. And when you turn to Him with your pain, He will not turn you away!
But I think the most important thing we can learn from Jesus in Getsemane is that we don’t need to carry our hurt and struggles all by ourselves. Like Jesus we should go to a lonely place often and spend time with our Heavenly Father, as it is only through a relationship with Him that we will ever find peace and comfort. He it the only one that can give us the strength to face every day.
Now, dear Reader. Are you going through a hard time right now? Do you feel pressured and anxious? Commit and decide that as from today, you will daily find a time in your day to go and pray. Turn to the Word, start a journal and start writing down all the lessons and promises you receive. And one day when you look back, you will see how your prayers has been answered and you have grown stronger in your faith.
Thanks for reading,