The Lamb’s Fire
The night before the cross, Jesus led the disciples from the upper room out of the city and across the Brook Kidron, which at this point was blood red from the thousands of lambs that had been slaughtered. The stage was set, Jesus is about to spill royal blood as the Passover Lamb set for slaughter. The crimson blood of the Lamb would soon flow forth like a river to the human race for the forgiveness of sins.
As they entered the garden called Gethsemane, Jesus began to be greatly distressed and troubled (deep alarm, anguish and dismay). When we look at Jesus throughout the gospels we see 3 exciting years of ministry. Words like authoritative, assured, and fearless describe him. He is steady and controlled. However there comes a moment when we follow Jesus under the trees to a place called Gethsemane, which means, “oil press.” when we encounter a savior that we are unfamiliar with. Jesus uttered,
Mark 14:34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me.”
Luke the doctor says, “And being anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground”(Luke 22:44). Though extremely rare, the phenomenon of hematydrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. The Greek word for drops is Thrombos meaning, ‘Large thick drops of clotted blood.’ When blood hit the cool night air it congealed, and thickened.
Rich, red human blood issuing from the veins of the Lamb—Selah
What was it that caused him to be at this point, near death itself? Was he thinking about the nails? Was he thinking about the unbearable shame that he would have to endure? What would the Father’s anger and wrath against sin look like?
Luke 22:42 “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
As Jesus stared into this Cup, it was a crushing, agony for our savior. As C.J. Mahaney writes,
“Isaiah 57 shows us that this cup is God’s extended hand—it’s the ‘cup of wrath’, and for those who drink it, it’s’ the ‘cup of staggering.’ This cup contains the full vehemence and fierceness of God’s holy wrath poured out against all sin, and we discover in Scripture that it’s’ intended for all of sinful humanity to drink. It’s your cup…it’s mine. In vivid imagery of the Old Testament, this cup is filled with ‘fire and sulfur and a scorching wind, like some volcanic firestorm, like all the fury of the Mt. St. Helens, eruption concentrated in a coffee mug. No wonder Scripture says that tasting from this cup causes the drinker to ‘stagger and be crazed.’ No wonder when Jesus stared into this detestable vessel, He stumbles to ground. In this dark hour, do you see your Savior’s love for you!”[i]
[i] C.J. Mahaney, Cross-Centered Living, pg 80