Faith Messages to build your faith

Sunday, April 20, 2014

My God, He Was a Man

Pat Patterson shares with us,  "Yesterday I saw a picture of Christ. He looked skinny and weak, effeminate, all beat up and puny hanging on the cross. 

The artist had portrayed him as a victim, a loser, not the kind of man I would ever follow. 

But thank God I don’t have to, because the Jesus Christ of the Bible wasn’t a weakling; he was a warrior. A fighter. A man I would gladly follow anywhere.

The gospels tell us that Jesus often went to a place called Gethsemane to pray. It was a small garden on the Mount of Olives just outside the city gates of Jerusalem. 

He doubtless spent many sleepless nights there praying for his disciples, for us, and for the world. But on one particular night Jesus fell to his knees and prayed in such anguish that his sweat fell as drops of blood. 

Why did that happen? What would cause such a strange phenomenon?

There’s a rare medical condition called hematohidrosis in which the blood pressure rises so high the tiny capillary beds in the skin burst, mixing blood with sweat, and sometimes even with tears. 

I saw it once while working as a paramedic. My patient’s blood pressure spiked so high it could not be recorded. She had a splitting headache and a feeling of impending doom. 

Amazingly, no arteries blew inside her head, but blood trickled down her cheeks like tears. It was an amazing thing to see.

It happened to Jesus in Gethsemane, the night before his mock trial and execution. He knew what was coming, yet he went to the garden as usual to pray. 

Frightened and hypertensive, he fell to his knees, knowing that within hours he would succumb to the most brutal punishment imaginable—crucifixion. 

And he did. But first he was beaten and scourged, his skin whipped and torn until it hung all over his body like raw meat. 

These injuries alone would have most likely killed him. 

Today a victim of such major trauma would get IV fluids, blood transfusions, surgery, and intensive care. 

Jesus received no medical care for his wounds, instead he was forced to pick up a 90-pound timber and hike up a hill to a place called Golgotha, an Aramaic word meaning “the place of the skull.” 

He was so weak from shock that his legs gave out. The soldiers nailed him to the cross, then raised him above the ground to die within view of his beloved Gethsemane.

When death came, the earth quaked, graves opened, and the sky turned black. They killed him. But that wasn’t the end of the story, for on Easter morning he arose! 

The Lord Jesus Christ—that battle-hardened warrior—rose from the grave and killed death so that we might live.

No, that artist got it wrong. Jesus Christ was no weakling. He was a man’s man. 

My God, he was a man. I will gladly follow him for the rest of my life, wherever he leads me. Will you?

Lord Jesus, you set a standard too high for me to follow, but your Word says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Give me that strength today. Help me to serve you will all my heart. Thank you for the miracle of Easter morning. You are my King, and I worship you.

My God, He Was a Man - Pat Patterson

"And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and
his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground."
Luke 22:44 NIV

  Photo courtesy & alexander

Pat Patterson is a writer, photographer, paramedic, volunteer chaplain, and an instructor of Emergency Medical Science. 

He is the author of Answering the Call. Pat's stories are true, based on real experiences from the streets of Durham, North Carolina where he served as a street paramedic for seventeen years. 

Contact Pat at Pat is a winner of the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference.

Let’s pray:

   Father, we come to You to thank You for the inexpressible gift of Your love for us!

   We understand that Jesus was able to follow through with Your plan of salvation for us, only because He was willing to make the only way of salvation available, and that You were enabling Him to accomplish it.

   I am determined to follow that Man, as He has become my Savior, and my God!

   May my life reflect His glory in all that I do. May I respond quickly to His urgings, corrections, and signs of His Presence.

   I ask this in His  Name, amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Ps. 72:18 "Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things."

22nd- Tuesday’s post:  #77  Seeking and Knocking  C. Peter Wagner

24th- Thursday's post:  #78  Forming a Team  C. Peter Wagner

26th- Saturday's post:  I Refuse to be Discouraged!  BJ George

27th- Sunday's post:  Are You Hanging On For Dear Life?  Michael Brooks

My granddaughter, Savanah (for comments)
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