Steve Coder

Gethsemane was the name of the olive grove where Jesus so often met with His disciples. I am convinced it was one of His favorite spots on earth.  After long days of ministry, He would have fireside chats with His apostles in this grove.  However, it was also in this place that He ultimately says “yes” to the cross and He was betrayed by Judas.

The word “gethsemane” means olive press. At the olive press, olives were poured into a groove in one rock while another larger rock would roll over them, crushing out the precious oil.  The oil that was used to anoint both prophet and king was pressed out a “gethsemane” or olive press. In the Garden of Gethsemane, under the crushing weight of the cross that was before Him, Jesus received an unusual anointing. Isaiah said He was “anointed for sorrows.” (Is. 53) Yes, God anoints us to go through everything He asks of us, even the sorrow of the cross.

Have you decided to follow Jesus? Then, He asks you to take up your cross, too. “If any man will come after Me…let him…take up his cross and follow Me.” (Mk 8:34) For God to receive  the full measure of your own personal cross, you must go through your own Gethsemane. If you haven’t gone through Gethsemane, you have not let the cross change your character.  You have only become bitter against the very thing God wanted to use to change you.

How do you know if you have been to your own Gethsemane? The continual rehearsal of the people and events that “crucified” you no longer consumes you. Jesus never again spoke of Judas, Pilot, Herod, the soldiers that nailed Him to the tree, or of Peter’s betrayal. Instead, He rejoiced in the resurrection glory and the victory won.

If you are still bitterly reviewing people, places and events, for your sake (and those around you), go back to Gethsemane!  Remember, Gethsemane is the place where you align your will with the will of God. Christ did not “want” to go to the cross, it was not His will.  But, Jesus submitted to the will of the Father and He prayed, “not My will, but Yours be done.” (Lu 22:42)

We are not perfect, and we are not Jesus.  But God knows that! So in His mercy, He allows us to go back to Gethsemane.  Come under the pressure of the Rock and say, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” In the olive press of your Gethsemane, there will come out of you an oil of healing and deliverance as you release your mind, emotions, and will to God’s will. Then, your much needed healing will come, and bitter memories will begin to fade away as you choose to forgive and forget.  The oil will be applied to your wounds and you will come forth a changed person with a resurrection glory and a vision for a new day.


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