Pressed But Not Crushed
Posted: Thursday, March 9
Verse of the day:
He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (Mark 14:34)
Pressure. Do you feel it? Life has a way of applying pressure to us. We feel it in our shoulders as we carry the weight of it. It presses upon our minds as we feel surrounded. No matter if we call it demands, stress or whatever, we all feel the effects.
Jesus was not immune to pressure. On the night of his arrest, as if all of history was bearing down on this moment, the pressure was intense. The sins of the world, the weight of his sacrifice, the judgement of God and the simple physical cry of the body for rest and sleep all added to the pressure of the moment. Jesus felt like he would be crushed.
I find that the Bible is so rich with language and Jesus so purposeful in his actions. Jesus could have spent that night in the upper room. He could have returned to the house of friends in Bethany. Instead he goes to Gethsemane. It was not that this garden was a favorite place to pray. On this night, it was about what this place represented. Gethsemane means oil press. A place where olives are placed under pressure so that the oil can be extracted. Tonight was Jesus time to go through the olive press. The purpose of the press was not to crush and destroy the olive, but to exact the right amount of pressure so that the olives oil would be released.
Jesus was not being crushed to be broken, but that in this moment the pressure would release the oil of God’s anointing. Jesus intensity during prayer shows us the incredible pressure he found himself under. As he labored, wresting with the desire of the physical to escape pain and the plan of God to endure, there was a break through moment were the oil of God began to flow. “I want your will to be done, not mine,” were the words that settled it for Jesus.