When people mention Jesus sweating blood in the Bible, they are referencing a passage in Luke. The passage says, “And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). At quick glance, it may appear as if Jesus worried. However, a deeper dive into the text reveals that He was not controlled by fear. The sorrow, and distress He experienced were natural human responses.
It’s known as Hematidrosis. It’s actually turned up throughout history and not just with Jesus. In addition to Jesus sweating blood before His crucifixion, Leonardo da Vinci wrote about a soldier who had bloody sweat after battle. Hematidrosis, or hematohidrosis, is a very rare medical condition that causes you to ooze or sweat blood from your skin when you're not cut or injured, according to WebMD. There are actually only a handful of cases confirmed in medical studies in the 20th century. People who have it generally sweat blood from their skin. It tends to occur around the face and it can cause the skin around the bloody area to swell temporarily. Given the condition is so rare, doctors aren’t quite clear what triggers it. It has been theorized that it is caused by our body’s “fight or flight” response.
There are those who say it is caused by extreme distress or fear, such as facing death can trigger it. Some people believe that Jesus was so worried the night before His persecution that it triggered this response but we know that Jesus wasn’t controlled by fear. He put His full trust in God, even during a point where most people would turn to a flight response. When we worry, doubt or experience anxiety, we are allowing the acts of fear to control our life and our decisions instead of placing our trust in God. Jesus never stopped trusting in God. Jesus would have sinned if He had allowed His feelings to lead to worry and not follow through with His Father’s plan. Yet, this wasn’t the case.
Jesus was without worry. He knew what He was going to face on the cross and took it on directly. Jesus said His prayers that night, turning to God saying, “not as I will, but as You will.” He did not worry or doubt God even when He was in anguish. If you’re anxious or worried, there a number of Bible verses you can turn to that can help you work through that fear.
First Peter 5:7 reminds us of God’s presence in times of anxiety and worry. It says, “Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” Matthew 6:25 reassures us that we have nothing to be anxious about when we have god, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or drink, not about your body, what you will put on.” Philippians 4:6 reminds us of the power of prayer when dealing with worry, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.”
Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” There are three times in Joshua 1 that God tells Joshua to be strong and to be courageous because he’ll need to be ready for what’s coming later. God also commands that he not be frightened or dismayed and for one reason only; “the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” If you are going into a particularly unsettling situation and your soul is anxious, have comfort in the fact that God is with you wherever you go.
Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Sometimes, we can read certain verses from Scripture a hundred times and fail to take them to heart the way the Lord wants us to. Other times, we can linger on a verse or two, and let them minister life, healing and comfort to us. Isaiah 41:10 is so rich with the promises of God that it warrants special attention from us. Ultimately, the Lord wants to impart to us through this verse that we shouldn’t be afraid. “Fear not [there is nothing to fear].” One reason why God warns us against fear is that it can short-circuit the answered prayers and blessings that He has in store for us. When you are anxious, hold onto the promise that God is upholding you in His righteous hand.
Psalm 46:1 reminds us that, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” By definition, a refuge is a safe place. When the Bible describes God as our refuge, it is saying that God is our safe place when we need protection from something. Knowing God is our refuge enables us to trust Him more freely. We need not fear situations or people who threaten our well-being, whether in a physical or spiritual sense. There is no situation we will ever face that is out of God’s control, so the best place to be when your soul is anxious, always, is right with Him.
When we worry, we get so lost in what might happen that we lose sight of our own peace and happiness. If you are facing worry today, remember how Jesus handled moments where worry and fear could have ensued. When we truly trust the Father like Jesus did the night before His crucifixion, there is nothing we can’t get through.