“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with Him, and He began to be sorrowful and troubled.  Then He said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me’” Matthew 26:36-38

Jesus and the apostles walked around the massive, ancient olive trees, past the cemeteries, to the foot of the mountain and into the garden of Gethsemane.  The word Gethsamane means oil press.

Olives are not just squeezed to make oil, they must be crushed. The better the olive, the better and purer the oil.

Christ walked deep into the garden and allowed the Father to begin to crush Him.

The physician Luke even noted in 22:44 “And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

He had matured, that is, He had finished His work, like the olives that are ready for crushing.  In a garden is where sin entered the world, and there in the garden of Gethsamane would now be the beginning of victory over it.

And there Christ personified the olive oil that was so precious and significant.

In the way it was used as an offering, He would be the sacrifice, once for all.

In the way it was used as currency, He would be the payment for all sins.

In the way it was used to anoint for service, He would anoint His Church.

In the way it was used as fuel for lamps to give light, His Spirit would fill us and make us a light for all the world to see and glorify Him.

In the way it was used to beautify wives, Christ would beautify and prepare His Bride.

In the way the olive branch is a symbol of peace and victory, through Him and His sacrifice there would be peace between God and man, and victory over all sin.

And if there was a shred of doubt left in anyone’s mind about whether or not this was all the Father’s doing —

“So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to Him, went out and asked them, ‘Who is it you want?’

‘Jesus of Nazareth,’ they replied.

‘I am He,’ Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.” John 18:3-6

The power of God accomplishes what it will, and when God wants to bring people to their knees, they fall to their knees.  These men who came under their own authority found they had none at all.  All authority rested with God’s Son.

While Jesus’s prayers empowered Him, the apostles’ lack of prayer weakened them, again causing Peter and the others to lean on their own devices instead of Christ.  Peter lobbed off the ear of the servant Malchus, and they would all eventually desert their Friend.

After Jesus healed the servant’s ear, He allowed them to bind him and take Him away.

Tomorrow: The Cross.