The episode in which Jesus sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane is one of the most iconic events of the Passion according to the Gospels. This phenomenon known as hematidrosis or hemohidrosis is a rare physical disorder in which a person experiences the secretion of blood through the sweat glands due to intense emotional and physical stress. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind this astonishing manifestation and analyze its symbolic meaning.
The historical and biblical context.
The Garden of Gethsemane, also known as the Mount of Olives, is a sacred site in Jerusalem. It was the place where Jesus, moments before his arrest and crucifixion, spent time in intense prayer and anguish. According to the Gospels, Jesus knew that his hour of suffering and death was approaching, and he carried the fate of humanity on his shoulders. It is in this moment of extreme emotional pressure that hematidrosis occurs.
The medical explanation.
Hematidrosis is an extremely rare and poorly understood phenomenon. It occurs in one out of every eight million people. This process can be triggered by a combination of physical and emotional factors, such as intense fear, extreme anxiety, or mental agony.
In these situations, there is an intense stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system with a marked increase in blood pressure. This leads to another cholinergic vasodilatory discharge, especially around the sweat glands, resulting in excessive sweating. As a result, a lot of blood accumulates around these glands. The blood vessels cannot withstand the pressure of so much blood and rupture, thus mixing the blood with sweat.
Currently, there are no complementary studies for its diagnosis, so it is diagnosed clinically.
Successful treatment in these cases has been achieved using beta-blockers such as propranolol and atropine sulfate patches (anticholinergic). This confirms the aforementioned theory.
An article published in the Revista Cubana de Hematología describes, through a clinical case presentation, three patients diagnosed with this condition.
Also in the scientific journal: Ciencia y Salud the presentation of another clinical case is included.
The symbolism and theological significance.
The sweat of blood from Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane has been considered a symbol of the deep anguish and emotional burden he carried when facing crucifixion. It represents the extreme humanity of Jesus and his voluntary acceptance of suffering for the sake of human redemption. It is also interpreted as a demonstration of the supreme sacrifice he was willing to make to fulfill his divine mission and free humanity from sin.
The phenomenon of Jesus sweating blood in the Garden of Gethsemane is an event that has fascinated and moved people of different beliefs and traditions throughout history. From a theological perspective, this event takes on deep and symbolic meaning, representing the sacrifice and total surrender of Jesus out of love for humanity. From a medical perspective, it can be understood as an extreme reaction of the human body to intense emotional and physical stress.
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