The round stone came almost to my waist. My arms stretched out, it was a bit wider or just over six feet wide. A smaller round stone lay on top of it. It was about an arm’s length in diameter and two to three hands thick. It had a hole through the center.
A pole placed into the center of the smaller stone would be used to leverage it to roll around the top of the larger stone.
For centuries men crushed olives with this ancient device. They filled baskets with the crushed olives. Next they placed a large stone on the baskets. They applied even more pressure with a long pole stationary at one end and weights on the other end. The olive press mashed the baskets until the olive oil oozed out.
Hundreds of these olive crushers and olive presses still dot Israel today. In 2009 I stood by one to have my picture taken. (See picture here)
Gethsemane means “oil press.” To this day ancient olive trees still stand in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The week before Jesus submitted to crucifixion, he went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. His decision to become the sacrificial lamb for the sins of all mankind crushed him. He asked that this cup of suffering pass from him. But then he prayed to the Father, “Not my will, but yours, be done.”
Kneeling very near olive crushers and olive presses, Jesus agonized with the decision to go through with His Father’s plan of salvation. It literally pressed the blood from him as He prayed in Gethsemane.
“And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:44
Oh, how He loves you and me!
“Easter is Coming!” is a sermon series on the events in Jesus’ last week. This Sunday, March 22, I will preach on the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane. This Sunday we will commit to begin 40 Days of Prayer for Revival & Spiritual Awakening. The Revival meeting dates are April 26-29.
On Easter Sunday, April 5, Balboa Baptist will celebrate Christ’s resurrection at 9:00 a.m., but also in a second service at 11:15 a.m.