Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Olive Press

God chose to reveal no details about Wednesday -- the Scriptures are silent. We will go directly to Thursday.

In the garden of Gethsemene -- translated, The olive press -- the great pressure of doing God's will bore down with full force. Jesus agonized in prayer as he relinquished his divine prerogatives to the Father's purposes. As his prayer went upward, his blood seeped outward -- his sweat turned to blood.

Gethsemene -- The Olive Press -- how revealing.

In the garden Jesus increasingly filled with sorrow -- heartache escalated -- his circle of friends and followers diminished.

How things had changed -- for three years, thousands had pursued the Healer seeking a singular miracle -- not one person went away disappointed. Multiplied thousands had gathered to hear him speak -- either spellbound or infuriated by his every word. John tells us in his gospel that the masses were turned off, and then turned away from Jesus after he taught -- unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood . . . In a matter of days his support system shrunk to twelve. Judas went over to the dark side -- then there were eleven. As the shadows in Gethsemene lengthened, his only company was three sleepy intercessors, but soon they, too, would yield to the squeeze of the Olive Press.

On Friday Jesus would be all alone -- My God, My God. Why have you forsaken me?

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