Archive for August, 2012


August 17, 2012 Leave a comment

What’s the good word? So we move on to Gethsemane. Here’s what we know of Gethsemane. What is currently there, on the Mount of Olives are not the trees that were there at the time of Jesus, although the are VERY old. Most likely 1500 years old. Gethsemane means “olive press”. While in Nazareth, we learned about an olive press (shown below). There’s much work that goes into pressing olives. But here’s the interesting thing learned about pressing olives- they are pressed 3 times.

Not only does the meaning of the name Gethsemane give us a glimpse into the story of Jesus’ time at Gethsemane, but so does teh pressing of the olives three times. Let’s take a look at that portion of Jesus’ story. RememberGethsemane means “olive press” and the olives are pressed three times.

Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.”He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.”When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”

Olives are pressed three times. Three times Jesus gets up and finds his disciples preaching. This is coincidence. Also, Gethsemane is called “olive press”. Can you imagine the pressure on Jesus at this critical moment. He knows the end is near. In fact, one account says that sweat fell from his brow like drops of blood. Sweat being “pressed” out of him. When I learned of these two things, it made this story come alive for me. The chapel that was on this spot, dedicated to Gethsemane, even had an altar in the form of a chalice (to catch the blood and tears). And that’s the good word for today.

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