As we contemplated on the millions of people worldwide who wrestle with anxiety, we asked ourselves, did Jesus wrestled with tension, nervousness, and stress, too? He did.
One night, he became particularly worried because he knew his adversaries were coming for him. He’d soon face arrest, torture, and even execution. It created an unimaginable weight.
Like many people do, Jesus tried to escape to a favorite quiet place—a garden of old growth olive trees on the side of a mountain. He even brought a few friends for emotional support. But overwhelmed with exhaustion, his friends couldn’t stay awake as he pleaded with God to make his problems go away. But this was a petition he knew wasn’t going to be answered.
Jesus said his soul was grieved to the point of death—that’s how he described the anxiety. He reportedly suffered hematohidrosis, a rare condition caused by acute emotional stress where the sweat glands rupture, causing them to excrete blood. He’d tried to cope with the anxiety as best he knew how, and just like many of us, his coping mechanism proved insufficient.
His adversaries captured him later that evening in the garden. Yet, despite his inability to find solace, Jesus found the strength to face his accusers and submit to them willingly and without violence, knowing that his death would further spread his message of radical love.