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Day 17: Blood in the class room

August 31, 2018

1Today’s teaching was very sobering; in fact, some students were a bit quiet and some even a bit queasy.

“I want to tell you about the condition that Christ endured while praying deeply in the Garden of Gethsemane,” I said, displaying the word hematidrosis on the Powerpoint.  “Luke’s Gospel tells us a very shocking fact as Christ prayed: ‘And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’”

The students opened their laptops and opened up their own personal Bible encyclopedia which they have been creating since the beginning of the school year.  I instructed them to turn to the letter “H” and begin their entry.

Jesus suffered severe mental distress in the Garden as He prayed about the agony to come. The sweat of Jesus became bloody.  Blood forced its way through the pores of His sweat glands, microscopically tearing at his flesh.  “The medical community writes that the skin becomes highly sensitive to any touch, and even the pressure of a finger can send a victim screaming,” I said.  “And what happened to Jesus right after He suffered hematidrosis?”

“He was arrested,” said Meredith. “And… tied up.  Shoved and pushed around.”

Dalton gravely added, “He got thorns shoved into His skull.  He was slapped by soldiers.”

“And then He was scourged with whips, until his skin was broken open,” I said.  “After that, He was nailed to a cross.”

I could see that this was sinking in.  Many of the students had heard the crucifixion story so many times that they grew accustomed to it.  They had forgotten the agony of Jesus in His sacrifice for mankind.  One smaller boy “Taylor” raised his hand in the back of the room.  He was ashen gray.

“I’m getting a bit faint.  May I step out for a second?”  I had another young man escort him out and see to his safety.

After class Taylor came to apologize.  “I’m sorry,” he said, looking away.  “It got kind of graphic for me, and well, I don’t hold up well.”

“Listen,” I said.  “You were listening so intently that you actually became emotionally involved in the lesson.  That’s one of the greatest attributes that a student can have – to get wholeheartedly into the teaching so much that it overcomes him.”

He smiled.  He hadn’t realized that.

I have been seeing more of that response lately.   Emma was visibly upset about a cult that taught dangerous error.  Shaun was openly fascinated about the words of James the apostle.  Mike was open-mouthed and shaking his head during our teaching of angels.

On one occasion one of the young men burst out in a response and then apologized quickly.  “Sorry,” he said.  “I just kind of got carried away.”

The fall season is great for school excitement.   Last Friday I saw high emotion at our home football game.

Hey, I’ll take high emotion in the Bible classroom any day.

I love it when I see students get “carried away.” The Bible can do that to people.

 

 

 

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