The Olive Tree, The Branch, and The Root have been symbolic throughout the scriptures. The Garden of Gethsemane was, at the time of Christ an Olive Orchard. In a previous post I attempted to shed light on the symbolisms above as they pertained to Messiah (Christ) Jesus. I would now like to take a little closer look at the fruit of the Tree, The Olive, and the Oil for which it was harvested.
As the Olives were harvested, and gathered for processing into oil. How might this apply, like so many other agricultural symbols in The Word of God to Jesus Christ, that is, as the Suffering Servant.
Bags of olives were laid on top of each other and then placed under the pressing part of the olive press. This particular press had 3 large stones. The first stone (closest to the fulcrum of the press) was used to squeeze virgin olive oil from the bags. This was collected in a basin under the bags and a new basin was used to catch the oil when the second weight was added to the lever. A third basin was used to collect the oil when the third weight was added. The First Pressing– is from the one-stone weight, pressed and collected it was used to make the Holy Anointing Oil to Anoint the heads of Kings and Priests, and other articles in the Tabernacle/Temple . The Second Pressing– is with two stones and the oil was collected and used for consumption and cooking. The Third Pressing– is when all three weights were applied to the sacks of pressed olives, the oil was collected and used for fueling the lamps, squeezed for the last drops of oil. Three Pressings in total, the pulp was then collected and used as fire starters.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus on the night He was betrayed had asked his disciples to “Tarry” with him One hour. Let us take a look at the Gospel story again and find some significance in His examples, In His Pressings.
Mt. 26:36-46, Mk. 14:32-42, Lk. 22:40-46, Jn. 18:1 (A combined perspective)
“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. Tarry here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed. “My Father if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it may your will be done.” When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look the hour is near and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise let us go! Here comes my betrayer.” [Gospel of Mathew]
“ABBA Father…everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” “Simon…are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing the flesh is weak.” Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Loo, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” [Gospel of Mark]
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stones throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” [Gospel of Luke]
When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it. [Gospel of John]
Three times he went to “pray” alone, Three Pressings as it were, the cup of which he was about to drink is of course not only his encounters with Ciaphas the High Priest, the Sanhedrin Court, and of course Pilate. Where he would be abused, flogged, and sentenced to death on a tree. But in fact The Cup of Wrath or Judgement of His Father God.
What can we attribute to this deeply troubling time for Jesus of Nazareth and his three times he went to “pray”?
*First Pressing- Holy Anointing Oil- Anointed as both King and a Priest– The Order of Melchizedek ; King of Righteousness, Priest of Salem -“Peace”. This first pressing that Jesus endured and submitted his will to, He lays the foundation to fulfill both these Titles and prophecies. (Gen. 14:18, Psalms 110:4, Hebrews 7:1-2)
* Second Pressing-Consumed- The Communion Cup, this cup of judgement was his to drink. His sweat, as His blood, dripped in great drops. Cup of the new Covenant and the Koinonia of Fellowship of his suffering, . (Gen. 14:18-20, Mat. 26:26-28, 39, 1Cor. 10:16, 11:23-32, Phi. 3:10-14)
*Third Pressing-Oil for The Lamp – Light of The World- in this final pressing Jesus establishes he is ready to be a Light unto ALL the world and will be the one to pour out the oil of The Holy Spirit, to Jew and Gentile alike. (Jn. 8:12, 2Cor. 4:4, Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2)
Three Pressings, three times he saw the weakness of his disciples, three times He endured what only He could. He ALONE now is READY to drink the Cup of His Fathers Judgement FOR ALL OF MANKIND. He is READY for His Scourging and Beatings, He is READY for the Ridicule and Shame. HE IS READY FOR THE CROSS!
He emptied himself of his will, and endured The Pressings to squeeze out the Holy Spirit so that as a man he would face judgement, submitting to God The Father’s will and plan of salvation for the redemption of mankind.
Where after His death was confirmed His lifeless body, the pulp, as it were, was placed in an empty tomb, ready to Ignite A FIRE.
John the Baptizer testified to this account of the Messiah, Christ Jesus …”one will come after me who WILL Baptize you with The Holy Spirit AND with FIRE“!!! (Mat. 3:11)
All that remained was to wait and see if God The Father would find His Son Jesus’ obedience as an Offering of Himself, an acceptable and Worthy Sacrifice, “an offering made by Fire a Sweet Aroma Pleasing unto The LORD.” Leviticus 1-4
The whole of heaven sat in silence, his disciples in darkness, for Three days Pending the Final verdict…