Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A pressing engagement - Gethsemane

I was recently reading Matthew 26 where Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane and I wondered what the word "Gethsemane" means as very often in the Bible locations are significant. I looked it up and discovered that it meant "the place where the Olives are pressed". Olive oil in the Bible is used as an anointing oil to anoint Kings and Priests. Jesus, our King and Priest, here at Gethsemane is entering the pressing machine. He is giving himself to be crushed on our behalf. We in our sin cannot stand before a holy God so Jesus, the God-man, goes to the cross for us, being pressed and crushed, taking God's curse on himself so the blessing might flow out to us. What is happening at Gethsemane is that Jesus voluntarily goes to the cross. He says "not my will but your will be done." He enters the press of his own accord. This reminded me of Isaac in the Abraham and Isaac story on Mount Moriah. Isaac involuntary was bound to the wood on the top of the mountain. The son of the father being involuntarily sacrificed. Whereas with Jesus, he is the Son of the Father who VOLUNTARILY is bound to the wood of the cross and sacrificed on the mount of Olives - Calvary for us. In his astonishing love for us he gives himself over to death for us - and then rises triumphant having defeated sin and death!

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