Luke 22:43-44 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.
We sometimes forget Jesus’ humanity. He was fully God, but He was also fully man, and leaving either side of that out gives us a distorted understanding of Him. He had just prayed his famous prayer of total submission to the Father, which we not unreasonably feel we could never do, thus demonstrating His divinity, but His humanity was stressed to the extreme. Why would the Son of God need an angel to strengthen Him? After all, He created the angels! We are back to the incredible truth that on this earth, Jesus operated only in what is available to all believers. His power, in healing and deliverance and knowledge and everything else, was that of the Holy Spirit, who had rested on and in Him from the point of His baptism. (John 1:32) At this point of extreme stress, He needed help just like we would. A physical expression of this was the rare medical phenomenon of capillaries in His skin rupturing from the stress, causing blood to mix with His sweat. As a doctor, Luke was particularly interested in this, since it has only been documented a few times. We tend to think of Jesus’ suffering for us as being on the cross, but it started well before that, simply culminating on the cross. We think we’re under a lot of stress, but it certainly doesn’t beat what Jesus went through for us! And again, He went through it as fully human, not blocking it out because He was God. The better we understand this, the more we are aware of the magnitude of His love for us that would motivate Him to go through it all. That in turn should inspire us to love Him more, operating in full devotion and obedience.
I need to remember this as much as anyone does. Like everyone, I think, I get hung up on my own humanity and consider it an excuse for all sorts of things. It may be a reason, but it’s not an excuse! I need to remember at all times that though I can’t get through stuff on my own, by my own wisdom, willpower or whatever, I can indeed “do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) The miracle of Jesus’ incarnation, being conceived as a very real, very human baby in Mary’s womb, is something I too need to meditate on more. God, who loved me so much as to do that, is free to do whatever He likes with me, because nothing I could do could ever repay that debt to Him. It’s exactly as the little chorus says: “All that I have, all that I am, all I will ever be cannot repay this love-debt I owe. I surrender to Thee.”
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You did yesterday. I was really blown out of the water to get a phone call from a friend in the US who had just watched the Facebook Live broadcast of our service. As I wrote him later, it truly blesses me to be an instrument of blessing to others. Help me be so yielded to You at all times that I am fully available for however You want to use me, for the sake of the Body of Christ and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!