In June 2014 I traveled to Israel. We stopped to see the original site of Nazareth. Nazareth during the time of JESUS processed olives. The pressing of olives was a 3-part process. The 1st pressing produced olive oil that would be consecrated for ‘holy’ use such as keeping the Menorah in the Holy Place in the Temple burning. The 2nd pressing would be utilized for food. The 3rd pressing would then be used for heating purposes.

CHRIST and HIS disciples spent a considerable amount of time on the Mt. of Olives on the eastern side of Jerusalem. One particular area that was prominent on the Mt. of Olives was ‘Gethsemane’ which means ‘oil press’ or ‘olive press’. The night of HIS arrest our LORD was going to spend time with HIS disciples sharing HIS final Passover meal with them. After singing a hymn, Psalm 118, they exited Jerusalem, crossed the Kidron Valley and came to Gethsemane.

JESUS was ‘pressed’ into intense prayer that night. Interestingly HE prayed on 3 separate occasions:
1st Prayer “Press” – “Going a little farther, HE fell with HIS face to the ground and prayed, “MY FATHER, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from ME, yet not as I will, but as YOU will.” {Mt. 26:39}
2nd Prayer “Press” – “HE went away a second time and prayed, ‘MY FATHER, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may YOUR will be done.” {Mt. 26:42}
3rd Prayer “Press” – “So HE left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.” {Mt. 26:44}

Dr. Luke records: “FATHER, if YOU are willing, take this cup from ME, yet not MY will, but YOURS be done. An angel from heaven appeared to HIM and strengthened HIM. And being in anguish, HE prayed more earnestly, and HIS sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” {Luke 22:42-44} Hematidrosis is a medical condition whereby perspiration is mingled with blood in severe cases of extreme anguish {NIV Notation}. From a human standpoint, CHRIST was severely ‘pressed’ as he faced the brutal reality of the crucifixion.

Bearing the burden of paying the penalty for sin caused HIM unbelievable anguish. HE would not be deterred…HE loved us too much to abandon the plan that was agreed upon. HE is our CREATOR – REDEEMER – SUSTAINER. HE knew what it was like to have turmoil in HIS life and can identify with us fully when we experience trials and tribulations.

The three different purposes for pressing the olive are symbolic in the life of our LORD:
HE is holy and HIS desire for us is to be holy {Lev. 19:2; I Peter 1:16}

HE is ‘the Bread of Life” {John 6:35}

HIS PRESENCE & HIS word provides ‘warmth’ for our lives {Luke 24:32}….HIS PRESENCE in our lives is the ultimate source of comfort.

Shalom!!! Larry ><>Nazareth

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