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Gethsemane happenings-part 1: There is a place of crushing

Rev. Enoch Thompson | September 14, 2023 | Matthew 26:36-38


Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, . . . Matthew 26:36a (NIV)


“A place called Gethsemane” may sound as a descriptive phrase used by Matthew to point to the location where the Lord Jesus and His disciples went next on that night of blackest spiritual darkness. But there is further a message in the name of the place. Gethsemane was a garden near the Mount of Olives where olives were crushed as part of the process of making olive oil. It was an ordinary olive pressing place, but the Lord honoured it with His experience, and it has become renowned forever throughout the world.

Gethsemane became a personal Gethsemane, a place of crushing of the sinless Son of God. The past, present, and future sins of humanity began to settle on His holy shoulders in the mill of God’s righteous anger against sin when the sin of the whole human race began to weigh Him down. The government of the Kingdom of God had been on His shoulders, but now the burden for the redemption of Kingdom citizens had to rest heavily upon Him.

Here in Gethsemane, the prophecy began to be realized, “he was crushed for our iniquities;” Isaiah 53:5 (NIV). The spiritual, emotional, and physical torture was so much that “. . . he began to be sorrowful and troubled. ³⁸Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." Matthew 26:37-38 (NIV). Christ was crushed in the olive press of Gethsemane so that the oil of divine grace and mercy might flow out of Him for our healing, our soothing, our anointing to be the true people of the Christ, the Anointed One.

There are times of crushing in the lives of Kingdom citizens. It comes in different forms and intensities at different times in the well-woven colours of the Kingdom robe of each of us. There is a place called Gethsemane for each one of us. Our Gethsemanes must make us productive; our times of trial should bring out the best in us and make us achieve our mission as salt and light and as agents of the soothing oil of our Redeemer.


Have you been to some Gethsemanes, places of affliction in your walk with God? Your Father in Heaven knows where you are, and He watches over you as the mother eagle watches over her young ones as they learn to take their first flights. Trust God and call for His hands around you in the times you feel like life is being snuffed out of you. There is a place called Gethsemane, but you will not be crushed beyond what you can withstand:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Cor. 10:13 (NIV).


Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the pains you went through in order to bring about my deliverance. You were crushed for my relief, Thank you forever, Lord.

Thank you for the times I have been crushed, and for the grace to stand strong. Please let me release precious healing virtues when I am crushed. May I be like my Lord in my Gethsemane. For your dear Name’s sake, Amen.



____________________________ DAILY word study: GETHSEMANE The name "Gethsemane" is derived from the Aramaic and Hebrew words and signifies an "oil press" or "olive press." It was an olive grove or garden located on the Mount of Olives, just outside Jerusalem's eastern walls.

Gethsemane holds profound significance in the biblical narrative as the place where Jesus retreated with His disciples just before His arrest and crucifixion. It was a secluded and peaceful spot known for its olive trees and the pressing of olives to extract oil.

In the context of our key verse for today's devotional, Jesus goes to Gethsemane to pray, fully aware of the immense trial and suffering that awaits Him. It is in Gethsemane that He experiences deep anguish and wrestles with the weight of the impending crucifixion. He prays fervently to His Father, and it is in Gethsemane that He submits to God's will, saying, "Not as I will, but as you will" (Matthew 26:39, NIV).

Understanding the significance of Gethsemane requires knowledge of its historical context. Olive oil was essential in ancient Israel for various purposes, including lighting lamps and anointing for religious ceremonies. Gethsemane's name reflects its role as an olive press, where olives were crushed to extract oil. This physical process of pressing olives serves as a poignant metaphor for the spiritual struggle and suffering that Jesus experienced in Gethsemane.

Gethsemane symbolizes a place of intense spiritual struggle and surrender. In this garden, Jesus faced the full weight of His impending crucifixion. It was a moment of profound agony, but also a moment of submission to God's will. Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane demonstrates the depth of His humanity and His willingness to endure suffering for the sake of humanity's salvation.

This passage invites us to reflect on the significance of Gethsemane in our own lives. It serves as a reminder that there are times when we, too, may face trials, suffering, and difficult decisions. Gethsemane teaches us the importance of earnest prayer, surrendering to God's will, and finding strength in our moments of deepest need.

Reflections: How can the example of Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane inspire you to seek God's guidance and find strength in times of intense struggle or suffering in your own life? How can you surrender to God's will, even when faced with difficult decisions?

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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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