“Great Drops of Blood Falling Down to the Ground”

Luke 22:40–44

40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Elder Tad R. Callister wrote:

“Luke substantiates the reality of [Christ’s] suffering: ‘And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly’ (Luke 22:44). Were not all His prayers earnest? Can we comprehend the intensity of suffering, the depth of pain that caused Him now to pray even more earnestly? What overwhelming burden must He have been shouldering to have elicited from a God the admission that He was ‘exceedingly sorrowful’ (Matthew 26:38)? What torment pressed upon Him so deeply that He ‘fell on his face’ in prayerful pleading (Matthew 26:39)? This was a crisis moment in the galaxy.

“As His agony accelerated, and eventually raced towards its climax without restraint and without release, His physical body finally revolted, and He sweat great drops of blood. Some years ago I attended a Sunday School class in which the teacher suggested the Savior did not literally sweat blood, but rather sweat in such a manner that His perspiration fell to the ground like drops of blood. This teacher sought support from the words of Luke who wrote, ‘His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground’ (Luke 22:44; emphasis added). King Benjamin, however, saw with prophetic eyes the true state of affairs: ‘Behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people’ (Mosiah 3:7; see also JST, Luke 22:44). Beyond this, we have the incontestable testimony of the one person who was present, the Savior Himself, who declared, ‘Which suffering caused myself, even God . . . to bleed at every pore’ (D&C 19:18). His body, in violent reaction to the superhuman pain thrust upon Him, literally, not figuratively, shed forth blood from every pore.”

(The Infinite Atonement [2000], 120.)

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