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Crucifixion was no ordinary punishment. The pain was unbearable. Jesus was not simply "wounded" but He was "crushed." That's how Prophet Isaiah portrays the suffering of Jesus in prophecy (Isa 53:5,10). Besides a general knowledge that He would suffer and die, Jesus was also mentally prepared for the kind of torture He would go through. The Father God sent Moses and Elijah to talk to His Son how He would suffer (Lk 9:28-31). Why of all the Old Testament prophets did God choose to send Moses and Elijah to talk to His Son? Both these men suffered immensely in their times. Moses was rejected by the people and slandered against by his associates. Elijah was threatened by a woman and he pleaded death. I'm sure these two men primarily encouraged Jesus. Let's see how Jesus handled mental pain before he go through physical pain— Lk 22:42 says an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. Note here that the angel strengthened Him to endure His agony (cp. Mt. 4:11). Perhaps the ordinary human strength could not have endured the agony, the bloody sweat, and the terrible spiritual struggle in the garden when Satan and all his forces sought to kill Him before He could get to the cross (Heb. 5:7). We have no way of knowing the terribleness of this conflict. The whole plan of God was at stake. If Satan could have succeeded here or on previous occasions to kill Christ, he could have averted his own doom and kept control of the earth indefinitely. It was imperative that God be victor and Christ get to the cross to pay the penalty for sin and conquer Satan forever (Col. 1:20; 2:14- 17 Heb. 2:14- 15). Lk 22:44 proves that Christ was in a life and death struggle in the garden and that He was not going through experiences of ordinary prayer. Because he prayed earnestly in agony, his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. It is a recognized fact that under extreme mental pressure the pores may be so dilated that blood may issue from them, so there may be bloody sweat. A number of cases are on record of such agony. Jesus was heard and saved from death at the hands of satanic powers which tried to kill Him in the garden of Gethsemane before He could get to the cross where He was to fulfill prophecy and complete atonement (Mt. 26:39; Lk. 22:43- 44; 1Pet. 2:24; Gal. 3:13).
When Christ was baptized He received the Holy Spirit without measure (John 3:34). This appears to have been for a predetermined amount of time of about three and a half years. Nothing could have impeded or stopped Christ’s ministry when he possessed the Holy Spirit in all its fullness. We find similar appointed times with the two witnesses of 1260 days (Rev.11:3) and the beast for 42 months (Rev.13:5). For Christ to be a true sacrifice as the Lamb of God, the Holy Spirit had to temporarily withdraw after his appointed time ended. The process of withdrawal was accomplished in the Garden of Gethsemane and was so profound that his sweat appeared to be like great drops of blood, perhaps due to hematidrosis. When Christ's body was on the cross, the Holy Spirit was not on the cross with him. This is why Christ’s prophetic confirmation of Psalm 23.1 is so meaningful. Three days after his death the Holy Spirit entered into him again and he victoriously rose again with an even closer unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
John 1:1 says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." We know Jesus was God. But we also have to remember that He was sent to us as a man. This is important for us to know the depth of the sacrifice that He endured for us. He had to face everything that He knew was going to happen as a man! With the emotions of a man, with the pain threshold of a man, with the concerns for his friends as a man and the expectations of His father as a man. If he faced all these things as God and could block out the pain, emotions, etc., would it have reached as many? His willing sacrifice came with all the attachments were He just an ordinary man. But Oh, was He so much more!
Jesus' suffering began soon after the Last Supper when Jesus and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane. Knowing that the time of His death was near, Jesus prayed intently. According to Luke 22:44, “Being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Medical literature documents that bloody sweat, known as hematidrosis, does occur. This condition is seen in rare instances of extreme emotional stress. The resulting blood loss is not severe, but it does cause the skin to be exquisitely tender, making what was to come even more painful. And this, He endured, for US. He bled and died, for US. And then God raised Him into life, again, for US. And now, we can truly live in HIM! JESUS LIVES! Blessings, in HIM, Lynn
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