Per Wikipedia: ‘Hematidrosis is a condition in which capillary blood vessels that feed the sweat glands rupture, causing them to exude blood, occurring under conditions of extreme physical or emotional stress. Severe mental anxiety activates the sympathetic nervous system to invoke the stress-fight or flight reaction to such a degree as to cause hemorrhage of the vessels supplying the sweat glands into the ducts of the sweat glands. It has been suggested that acute fear and extreme stress can cause hematidrosis.’
On Thursday, Jesus gathered with His closest Disciples and had what is called: The Last Supper. At this time, the 1st ‘Communion’, also known as ‘the Breaking of Bread’, also took place. It was the day of ‘Unleavened Bread’ when the Passover Lamb was to be sacrificed. While Jesus was attempting to indirectly inform His good friends of His looming Crucifixion, an argument broke out among the Disciples. Instead of ‘hearing’ what Jesus was trying to tell them, they were only focused upon themselves. They argued about who was going to be the greatest among them. How this must have grieved our Lord’s heart. The gravity of what He was sharing with them completely evaded their awareness. He was trying to tell them He was about to suffer and die, and all they could think of was which one of them would be held in highest esteem.
Have you ever attempted to tell someone that you were really really sick, but you knew they simply were not listening? Instead, you were aware of how this knowledge caused them to question how it may inconvenience them? Have you ever attempted to describe your excruciating pain of grief, and in return received a blank stare of a dark room in the eyes of a person incapable of grasping any of what you were telling them? After Jesus very gently rebuked them by telling them how it really is…that it is not ‘greatness’ that matters, but a heart of servitude…he turns his attention to Peter. He lets Peter know in advance that he will deny Jesus, and even tells him how many times. He does this to offer Peter comfort in advance, knowing how Peter would later hate himself for it afterward. Yet, in response He gets a denial and argument from Peter. No one would listen.
This night was only getting worse. After Dinner, and after Jesus demonstrated His humility by washing the feet of all of His friends, He then went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. We read about this in Luke 22:
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Jesus is in such torment at this moment, that He experiences Hematidrosis. An Angel comes to help Him while His best friends sleep. I have suffered many things in my life, but I often respond to folks who inquire as to how I am doing with a simple statement: ‘Well, I haven’t sweated blood yet.’ The anticipation of the agony and excruciating death Jesus was about to endure caused Him such severe mental anxiety that He sweated blood.
And His friends slept.
How lonely He must have felt. Yes, He had the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Angels. Yet, He still desired His friends to also be ‘present’ with Him. But, it was all beyond what they could grasp. Then, Judas appeared. One from His closest circle of friends arrives with the Roman Guards to arrest Jesus, and Judas identifies Him with a kiss. Truly, our Lord’s suffering began before even one physical blow struck Him. His initial suffering began in the midst of His tight circle of best friends. This was a fulfillment of the betrayal David spoke of in Psalm 55: 12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me;
Then I could have borne it:
Neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me;
Then I would have hid myself from him:
13 But it was thou, a man mine equal,
My companion, and my familiar friend.
14 We took sweet counsel together;
We walked in the house of God with the throng.
Once again, we find in God’s Word the ‘been there, done that’ by Jesus. He suffered it all so that none of us can ever say that Jesus does not understand. He understands far more than we do. Add to that, that Jesus is God and Creator of all. He did not have to subject Himself to any of this. Yet, because of His great Love for us, He willingly did so. He took it all upon Himself. In doing so, He made Himself the greatest empathizer. He does ‘get it’.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/2017/03/the-pain-of-holidays-after-the-loss-of-loved-ones/
Book released 12/15/17. Please help spread the word. TY!! (((HUGS)))