Sandro Vannini

Drops of blood fall from Jesus’ face as he prays on the Mount of Olives on the eve of his crucifixion. In this 15th-century fresco by Giovanni Canavesio, from the chapel of Notre Dame des Fontaines, in La Brigue, France, the disciples Peter, James and John sleep while, in the background, Judas points out Jesus to the helmeted Roman soldiers. According to the Gospel of Luke 22, Jesus fell on his knees and prayed, “Father, if it be your will, remove this cup from me. Except not my will, but yours be done.” An angel then appeared to Jesus and strengthened him. “And being in agony he began to pray yet more fervently, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.” The appearance of the angel and the account of Jesus’ bloody sweat are absent from some of our best early manuscripts of Luke, leading author Bart Ehrman to question whether they were part of Luke’s original.