Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane. —Matthew 26:36
The word Gethsemane comes from a Hebrew term that means “oil press.” It was appropriately named, as the Son of God was “pressed” beyond anything we can possibly fathom that night among the olive trees.
The process of producing olive oil in the ancient world is a picture of what Christ endured in the garden. The trees were first beaten to make the olives fall to the ground. Then the olives were crushed by a millstone. As their flesh was torn under the stone’s weight, every cell released a tiny droplet of oil.
Then even greater pressure was applied to make a paste, which was then smeared onto mats stacked under a huge stone called the “gethsemane”—the oil press. The pressure of that stone squeezed out the oil.
What an example of what Christ went through in the “oil press” of Gethsemane! Jesus could feel the weight of the stone coming down upon Him, squeezing Him, pressing Him. Yet He still said, “Your will be done,” because of His love for you and me.
Make it Personal
Have you ever struggled in soul-anguish over the weight of your sin? What lifted the burden?