I’m on the third installment of having Guest Blogger, Chris Collins, sharing about his experience in Israel. You can read his first post about the trip HERE and his second post about the trip HERE. I will be sharing about the trip from my point of view soon – I just need to dedicate some time to sit down and write about it. Anyway, here is this week’s Israel Post:
Gethsemane–the Olive Press
I had many moments during our trip to Israel when I was overcome with emotion—the excitement and joy of seeing the places Jesus lived and walked, experiencing in a small way what life was like during Bible times—it was a profoundly spiritual experience. The first moment when tears filled my eyes was in Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up.
There our guide showed us an olive press. He talked about the process of crushing the olives to get the oil. He explained that the olives are pressed three times. The first oil that they collect goes to God; it is the best and purest portion of the oil, and it is reserved for worship. The second pressing still gives good oil, and it is used for cooking. The final pressing is the least pure and is used for lamps and other things that didn’t require clean oil.
Our guide then reminded us of the three times that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. There Jesus was pressed three times as He pleaded with God to let His suffering pass. “Nevertheless,” he said, “not My will but Yours be done.” Luke tells us that Jesus’ strain was so great that He sweat drops of blood. He was beginning to experience the crushing weight of my sin and would soon be separated from the Father for three dark hours because of my rebellion.
I was overcome with emotion. Jesus went through a lot of pain for me. “He was crushed for our iniquities,” Isaiah says.
When we visited Gethsemane a week later, I remembered once again the suffering Jesus experienced. Gethsemane actually means “olive press,” and there Jesus was pressed for you and for me. And then He submitted to the Father’s will and was “obedient to death, even death on a cross.”
I’m forgiven because You were forsaken.
I’m accepted, You were condemned.
I’m alive and well, Your Spirit is within me
Because You died and rose again.
Amazing love! How can it be
That You, my King, would die for me?
Amazing love! I know it’s true.
It’s my joy to honor You.
In all I do, I honor You.