His Great Agony
His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. - Luke 22:44
The mental pressure arising from our Lord's struggle with temptation so forced his frame to an unnatural excitement that his pores sent forth, as it were, great drops of blood, which fell down to the ground. This proves how tremendous must have been the weight of sin, that it was able to crush the Savior to this extent! This demonstrates the mighty power of His love.
It is a very helpful observation that the sap, which exudes from the tree without it being cut, is always the best. This precious camphor tree yielded sweet spices when it was wounded by the whips and pierced by the nails on the cross; but consider how it produces its best spice when there is no whip, no nail, no wound. This presents the voluntariness of Christ's sufferings, since without a lance the blood flowed freely. No need to put on the leech or apply the knife; it flows spontaneously. No need for the rulers to cry, "Spring up, O well"; of itself it flows in crimson torrents.
When men suffer great pain of mind, the blood apparently rushes to the heart. The cheeks are pale; a fainting fit comes on; the blood has gone inward as if to nourish the inner man while passing through its trial. But look at Christ in His agony; he is so utterly oblivious of self that instead of His agony driving His blood to the heart to nourish Himself, it drives it outward falling to the ground. The agony of Christ, inasmuch as it pours Him out upon the ground, pictures the fullness of the offering that He made for men.
Can we fathom how intense the wrestling must have been through which he passed, and will we not hear its voice to us? "In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."1 Behold the great Apostle and High Priest of our profession, and sweat even to blood rather than yield to the great tempter of your souls.
1) Hebrews 12:4
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Exodus 34
verse 2 John 13
The Christian in Complete Armour, Volume 1
Arguably the most significant spiritual and biblical theology ever penned from the English Puritan era, the presentation of William Gurnall's (1616-1679) The Christian in Complete Armour in an accessible, single volume is certainly a landmark, and much welcomed, event. According to the Apostle Paul, the world is at war. Not a "hot war" but a war in the realm of the spirit. This war, Paul warns, requires special armament, and he explains that armament in Ephesians 6. Anglican cleric Gurnall began to explore Paul's exhortation in sermons and lectures, which he published under the title The Christian in Complete Armor. A perennial best-seller in Gurnall's own lifetime, these teachings became his legacy, influencing well over three centuries of Christians and eliciting praise from the likes of Richard Baxter, John Flavel, John Newton, Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards and have been abridged and modernized using more easily understood language.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.