Luke 22 verses 43 & 44. “An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
This account of an angel from heaven is most interesting. It reminds us that there is another realm of beings, of which we know next to nothing. The experience of an angel in this way indicated the presence and intervention of God giving to Christ that inner comfort he needed for the task ahead.
Remember what Jesus was coming to do. He was coming to die in our place, to become sin for us, he stood in for us, bearing in his own body the punishment for our sins. The Holy One was to be separated from His Father – for us. To be separated from God is an unthinkable horror. And this is what Christ saw before him. We can never penetrate into the mind of Christ to realise the horror that overcame his sensitive and sinless being at the thought of becoming guilty of sin on our behalf.
Remember Luke was a physician, so he would have taken note of the reports he received of Christ sweating drops of blood onto the ground. This is known in medical circles as hematidrosis, and occurs when the human body is at the end of its tether with stress. At that point it is possible that subcutaneous capillaries dilate and burst. When this happens blood and sweat will be exuded together.
The main point to remember about this phenomenon is that it was ‘for us’. This was an indication of our Saviour’s undying love for us. And who are we? Nothing but poor, lost sinners he came to save.
We cannot even begin to imagine the terror of the darkness that came upon him as he prayed on the Mount of Olives. How foolish people are who mock at the notion of hell and judgement, for what our Lord endured in Gethsemane and on the Cross, is what they will have to one day endure if they remain unrepentant. Separation from God is an unthinkable destiny.
Let us remember that what Christ endured he endured for those who put their trust in Him. Not for all people willy-nilly – but only those who embrace Him as Saviour.
How blessed we are to have our eyes opened and to have been drawn to Christ. Let us seek to love and serve him every day.