(Greek conflict in wrestling; figuratively, a struggle with intense trials.) Used only in Luke 22:41. Jesus' agony in Gethsemane, "so that His sweat was as it were great clotted drops of blood" (thromboi), namely, blood mixing with the ordinary watery perspiration, medically termed diapedesis, resulting from agitation of the nervous system, turning the blood out of its natural course, and forcing the red particles into the skin excretories. The death of Charles IX. of France was attended with it. Many similar cases are recorded, as the bloody sweat of a Florentine youth, condemned to death unjustly by Sixtus V. (De Thou 82 4 44.) Compare Hebrews 5:7-8; Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42. Each complements the other, so that the full account is to be had only from all compared together. Luke alone records the bloody sweat and the appearance of all angel from heaven strengthening Him, Matthew and Mark the change in His countenance and manner, and His complaint of overwhelming soul sorrows even unto death, and His repetition of the same prayer.
The powers of darkness then returning with double force, after Satan's defeat in the temptation (Luke 4:13, "for a season," Greek "until the season," namely, in Gethsemane, Luke 22:53), the prospect of the darkness on Calvary, when He was to experience a horror never known before, the hiding of the Father's countenance, the climax of His vicarious sufferings for our sins, which wrung from Him the "Eli Eli lama sabacthani", apparently caused His agonizing, holy, instinctive shrinking from such a cup. Sin which He hated was to be girt fast to Him, though there was none in Him; and this, without the consolation which martyrs have, the Father's and the Savior's presence. He must tread the winepress of God's wrath against us alone. Hence the greater shrinking from His cup than that of martyrs from their cup (John 12:27; Luke 12:49-50).
The cup was not the then pressing agony; for in John 18:11 He speaks of it as still future. There is a beautiful progression in the subjecting of His will to the Father's: "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39): "Abba, Father, all things are possible unto Thee," (lest His previous IF should harbor a doubt of the Father's power) "take away this cup from Me, nevertheless not what I will but what Thou wilt" (Mark 14:86): "Father, if Thou be willing" (marking His realizing the Father's will as defining the true limits of possibility), remove this cup from Me, nevertheless not My will, but Thine be done" (Luke 22:42): "Oh My Father, if (rather since) this cup may (can) not pass away from Me except I drink it, (now recognizing that it is not the Father's will to take the cup away), Thy will be done" (Matthew 26:42): lastly, the language of final triumph of faith over the sinless infirmity of His flesh, "The cup which My Father hath given Me shall I not drink it?" (John 18:11.) A faultless pattern for us (Isaiah 50:5-10).