Garden of Gethsemane: The Oil Press
Ted E. Bowling
Sermonette; #1531s; 17 minutes
The Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus spent part of His final night, has particular significance because it was not only an olive grove, but also the location where olives were pressed into oil. Gethsemane derives from the words Geth and Seman—both meaning oil. Clearly God, who carefully plans, intends that we grow in understanding by contemplating the multiple processes of pressing oil from olives. The crushing of olives into oil involves three sequential steps: harvesting, crushing into pulp and pressing. Generally, there are three pressings, each one producing a lower quality of oil. The first pressing produces oil for anointing and the Temple service; the second pressing produces oil used for food and medicine; the third pressing produces oil for heating and lighting. Jesus Christ's three prayers to the Father symbolize these three pressings. The ardor involved in these prayers produced a pathological condition known as hematidrosis (Luke 22:44), in which capillaries burst under intense stress. Olive oil has a multiplicity of uses, including anointing (the name Christ signifies the Anointed), cleansing, food, and heating and lighting (Jesus is the Light of the World, John 8:12). The three successive crushing of olives into oil represents the awesome cost of our salvation. Christ's intense physical and mental torture qualified Him to be Our High Priest and Mediator, who, for our sakes, does to His Father's will rather than His own.
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