The DD just left for school, the dog is snuggled up in the corner of the sofa and Muffinhead is still asleep. I can hear the birds waking up outside and the sun has just come up. We got rain yesterday so everything is washed clean and it promises to be a beautiful day.
Confession time: I am ready for a break! I love studying God’s word, however I am really looking forward to finishing up this course of study and moving into summer. I need a break! We have two more sessions and we will be done. I have gained a whole different layer of understanding of scripture from this bible study for which I am thankful for. Delving into the Hebraic culture and learning about their customs shed a very new and different light on who Jesus was and what formed His foundation as He began His ministry.
In our session yesterday we learned all about olive oil. It was a major crop in the middle east and a common theme throughout scripture. The olive tree, olive branch, olive oil, olive press are all common threads and themes in multiple places thought out the Old and the New Testament.
The word Gethsemane means “oil press” It is derived from two Hebrew words, “gat” which means a places of pressing oil or wine and “shemanim” which means oils.
The first part of the process was placing the olives in this large stone basin or sea as it was called. Then a massive millstone was placed on top and it had a large stick inserted through the middle and it was then turned by human power or a donkey. The olives were then crushed into a pulp.
The pulp was then transferred to woven bags and stacked one upon another. This massive stone was then lifted up and placed upon the bags and the weight of the stone would press the oil out of the crushed olives. The stone rested upon another platform the had a circular channel carved (this picture is not very good, but you can see the stone platform directly under the pillar and the circular indention in is if you look closely) in it that would then funnel the oil out to a collection well where it would be then transferred to bottle ready for use.
To give you some reference this olive press is probably as tall as an average man and weighs several hundred pounds.
This defining of the meaning of exactly what Gethsemane means has added a whole new layer of understanding to Jesus’ painful and agonizing night as He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, a place of pressing olives, a place were great pressure was brought to bear upon something that was a valuable commodity for so many people.
Having just celebrated Easter, this weeks look back upon the preceding hours before Jesus’ crucifixion added a new layer of understanding.
For me, there is no escaping the lesson here. Jesus in his total obedience to God’s will for him went to Gethsemane knowing what the future would hold. God directed His path in every way, even to the point of picking the precise spot for his ultimate test of obedience his Gethsemane moment, his moment, the agonizing weight of what was about to happen became a reality, The sin’s of the would were far heaver than any olive press could have been and yet he chose to accept this weight for each and every one of us.
43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[a]
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.
God is so GOOD y’all!