Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oil Press

The night before Jesus was crucified He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. While there He was in great sorrow – (His own words were “exceedingly sorrowful unto death”). He was being crushed by the weight of what faced Him tomorrow. He was under such stress that as He prayed the capillaries in His forehead ruptured and blood came out His sweat glands and fell to the ground.

The word “Gethsemane” means oil press. It was a place where olives were crushed until the oil was pressed out. It was also the place where God’s Son was crushed.

Have you ever felt like that?

Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was to come afterwards (Hebrews 12:2). There was nothing pleasant or happy about going to the cross and experiencing the suffering He endured. But He did it because He knew that joy would be extracted from His suffering. God “pressed” it out of Him. It was “crushed” out of Him. After He rose from the grave Jesus said:

-Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world
-Be of good cheer, I was dead but now I live for evermore
-Be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee
-Be of good cheer, I have the keys to death, hell, and the grave!

And that’s something to be joyful about.

God will also take you to your own personal Gethsemane - the place of crushing until the oil is pressed out. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Corinthians 4:7) and God will break the outer vessel so the oil of gladness from within can be released. No matter how bitter your circumstances, God can extract the oil of joy from the gall of bitterness.

”Behold, we count them happy which endure” (James 5:11)


Cathy said...

Good Word! I really needed to be reminded of this today. Thanks!

Ron said...

This is an excerpt from a sermon I preached several years ago. I was sitting in my office and it just came to me... so I dug around in my notes until I found it. I'm glad it reminded you of something meaningful - it did me as well.

Thanks for the encouraging comment.