The human body sometimes reacts to great stress with a defensive redirecting of the blood that is known as vasospasm. In these times, blood vessels in the extremities shut down stopping the flow of blood to those areas. Blood-less, life-less cold spreads quickly into the areas affected.
Spiritually we sometimes see a similar phenomenon. Hurts in life cause us to withdraw from the pain. We turn inward and restrict the flow of the Spirit from the outward stresses. Both are human reactions. Both withdraw life. Christ shows us another way.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ faced horrendous distress. He understood the darkness of sin and separation from the Father that was soon to weigh upon Him. Yet in that garden—before any physically struck Him, Christ’s blood flowed out to a dying world. God’s Word tells us great drops of blood dripped as He prayed. Christ sacrificially lived before He died as the Sacrificial Lamb. He looked outward and upward, not inward. His life followed His gaze.
We, as Christians, live because He loved enough to refuse self-focused living. Forsaken by his closest friends, sold-out by a close associate, hated by His Father’s chosen people, Christ had every reason to ‘self-protect.’ Yet He pursued the Father’s purpose and brought life to all who would believe. We can choose to let that same life flow in us and by-pass ‘human reactions.’ Although Christ became human, He did not allow humanity to dictate His life. We must not either.
When a vasospasm incident passes, blood flows back into the afflicted regions with stinging pain. That pain brings life. In our spiritual lives, the pain of conviction brings healing through repentance. Restored to Life, we become vessels of life for others. Let us follow the example of our Savior who, though God, learned obedience through suffering. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly—let us embrace His purposes!