Drops of Blood in the Garden of Gethsemane

The last day before His death, Jesus spent the evening praying in the garden of Gethsemane. Gethsemane means ‘olive press’, the place where olives are pressed until they burst and the red liquid appears. This is what happened to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was in this place that the most dramatic wrestling in the history of the world took place. Bereft of every form of human support, Jesus became greatly anguished. The wrestling was so powerful that His sweat became as drops of blood, which fell to the earth10.

The phenomenon of ‘sweating blood’ is known by the medical name of hematidrosis. There are several small veins surrounding the sweat glands. When an extreme amount of stress occurs, these veins start to constrict. When the extreme emotions subside, the veins widen to the point of breaking. The blood then streams into the sweat glands. When these start to produce a lot of sweat, they thrust the blood to the surface, causing the drops of sweat to mingle with the blood. The question is not whether or not it is possible for Jesus to have sweat blood. The true question is: What caused Jesus so much stress that He started to sweat blood?

Jesus didn’t plead with God to take the Cross from Him, but ‘the cup’: ‘Father,’ He said, ‘if You will, take this cup of suffering away from Me. Not my will, however, but your will be done’11 . Which cup was Jesus talking about? You can find the answer in Jeremiah, which speaks of ‘the cup of God’s wrath’ which has been filled to the brim with the sins of all people12 . The people must drink this cup, filled with their sins, until it is completely empty. The result of this is that they will be abandoned, hated and cursed from that moment onwards. Jesus knew that God wanted Him to drink this cup in your and my place.

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