We didn’t have Gatorade. That made the difference.

~ Bobby Dodd

© Matt Matthews, courtesy of iStockphoto

In 1965, Coach Ray Graves had requested researchers at the University of Florida create a rehydrating drink for his football team. These scientists noted their concoction seemed to enable the test subjects to achieve greater performances. Every Florida Gator then joined the experiment.

When the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets lost the 1967 Orange Bowl to the Gators, Coach Bobby Dodd’s proclamation above made sports’ drinks a staple among athletics. Now, competing brands have joined the sweat-replacing market.

  • Losing bodily fluids can be detrimental to one’s health.

For athletes, it’s a myriad of related risks. Leg cramps. Greater tendencies for injuries. Heat strokes. Even death.

  • But a more dire peril awaited those tortured by processes such as crucifixion.

Naked. Exposed to the sun and the wind. Wounds bleeding. Constantly struggling to breathe by pulling up the body to inspire. Hyperventilating. And no way to rehydrate.

Copious perspiration accompanied crucifixion. We get some idea of this from the Nazi torture we’ve discussed.[1] [2] [3]

  • Sweating profusely occurred in aufbinden.

An eyewitness noticed that the victim’s sweat drenched the floor beneath where he hung. The Nazi tormentors experimented with this condition. They placed some prisoners they tortured in freezing conditions. Even the icy temperatures didn’t halt the dying man from perspiring copious amounts.[4]

We’ve covered many facets of what someone crucified suffers. Profuse sweating is yet another condition we can add to this woe.

  • Jesus perspired copious amounts in Gethsemane.

We’ve also covered this in another post.[5] [6] Luke wrote:

And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

~ Luke 22:44, NKJV

  • Luke, a Greek physician, used the term thrombos.

His word usage describes the size and the amount of fluid falling from Jesus’ body. From thrombos, we get the medical term for blood clot. What Luke notes is that the Christ perspired profusely as he suffered for us. And this was before He ever got to the cross.

  • At Calvary, He would sweat more.

We know one of the very few statements Jesus made on the cross was: “I thirst!”[7] It pictures for us just how dehydrated Jesus was when He died. Only He didn’t have a method to rehydrate like today’s athletes do.

  • Instead, He poured His life out like water for you and me.

And it made all the difference in the world.


[4] Pierre Barbet, A Doctor Looks at Calvary: the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ as Described by a Surgeon (Fort Collins, CO: Roman Catholic Books, 1953), 174.

[7] John 19:28, NKJV.