Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 5 of Lent :: Under Pressure

They went to a place called Gethsemane.
(Mark 14:32)

Just after supper in the Upper Room, Jesus led His disciples from Jerusalem, down through the Kidron Valley, to a place called Gethsemane. The word gethsemane is derived from two Hebrew words: gat, which means “a place for pressing oil (or wine)” and shemanim, which means “oils.”[i]

During the time in which Jesus lived, heavy stone slabs were lowered onto olives that had already been crushed in an olive crusher. Gradually, the slab’s weight squeezed the oil out of the pulp, and the oil ran into a pit where it was collected into clay jars.
What happened in Gethsemane, on the slope of the Mount of Olives where Jesus went the night before His crucifixion, provides a vivid picture of Jesus’ suffering.  The weight of the sins of the world pressed down upon Him like a heavy slab of stone pressing olives. His sweat, “like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44), flowed from Him like oil squeezed from olive pulp.

Reflection: Read Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-43 and Luke 22:39-46.  
  • Pay special attention to how Jesus describes what He was feeling. 
  • Write these expressions below.  Also note how each writer describes what happens to Jesus.   
  • How does reading what Jesus experienced help us to gain a better perspective of our own perceived sufferings?

[i] (accessed February 11, 2011).

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