If you’re like me, you may have spent years of your life explaining Jesus’ sweating drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane as a miracle born in his divinity or literary device such as metaphor etc given to intensify the readers experience of Jesus’ experience in the garden.
the problem with my second stated hypothesis is that it is inconsistent with the writing style of the rest of the surrounding writing. . .
and the problem with my first stated hypothesis is that it has been experienced by others who are not divine.
One could rationalize that even humans can experience spiritual phenomena, however from my understanding, there is reasonable medical evidence for this happening… albeit rarely, in cases of extreme stress.
see, it turns out that every sweat gland is surrounded by a delicate network of capillaries. Under cases of extreme stress, these capillaries constrict. From what I read, the rupture of these capillaries takes place as the anxiety passes and the capillaries dilate to the point of rupture. When they rupture, the blood goes into the sweat glands, and one literally sweats drops of blood.
*note… this is not the same condition as chromidrosis, in which sweat appears coloured and can be mistaken for blood.
If you are human, you have probably experienced some times of stress in your life, and some that were more intense than others.
Some of you have struggled with extreme anxiety… the kind that’s so intense that while you’re experiencing it, you are not sure you can survive the physical toll of the anxiety that you are experiencing… never mind the issues causing the stress… the stress itself is so intense you’re not sure you can survive it.
I feel like it is probably safe to say that even my most intense experience of stress is really nothing compared to Jesus experience of it in the Garden.
and I wonder… the medical bit that I read said that it’s as the anxiety passes that the blood vessels rupture and sweat becomes drops of blood….
So in this time of unbelievable stress and anxiety and pressure… Did Jesus still find relief in prayer? is this why the prayer in the Garden was such a marathon? I can’t imagine the stress of what Jesus knew was coming. . . and I don’t even mean the unlivable agony of the physical events about to transpire, but the intense agony of every horrific dimension of sin-the guilt, the pain, the betrayal, the stress, the loneliness,
ALL of it… about to be His…
Even in that stress… stress which I think would be enough to stop the heart of any human who was not also divine…
Did He find reprieve in the presence of His Father?