Waynedale United Methodist Church
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

Mar 24, 2016 Sermon

“Breaking, Pouring, Pressing, Praying” 
Mark 14:12 – 26

Ted Jansen  March 24, 2016  Waynedale UMC

 

Intro    I have a gift for each of you tonight.  I had you in mind when I was in Israel.  This gift is a cross made out of olive wood.  The cross is a symbol of Jesus’ death and love.  The olive wood reminds us of the wood in Israel but the olive wood would have produced olives and they were a source of life for the people.  I will hang this somewhere you can see it and talk about it. 

 

1.)        Two words came to me as I thought about this night with Jesus in the Upper Room; breaking and pouring.    

            These words represent what Jesus did.  Jesus was breaking the bread into pieces for the disciples.  Jesus was pouring the wine into the cup for them to drink from. 

The disciples would not really understand what Jesus was doing, since it was a symbol of His body that would break and His blood that would be shed.  It was all new information to them.      

The disciples had a different understanding of those words after the crucifixion.  Breaking and Pouring are images we can understand because we know what happened to Jesus. 

 

2.)        Love has to be given, sacrificed to be fully understood.  Words are easy to say, but action takes something from us.  Jesus gave His body and blood to show He loved.    

            We will celebrate Communion to remember what happened to Jesus body and His blood.  They were broken and poured out.  That is what the celebration of Communion does.  It takes us back to the moment when love was real.  Breaking and Pouring.        

 

3.)        Two other words came to me as I considered Jesus on this night.  These words came to me as I understood Jesus in the garden; pressing and praying.  These words describe love for me in a powerful way that I had not focused on with Jesus.     

            When the disciples finished in the Upper Room they went to the Mount of Olives.  You might remember that Jesus and the disciples were on the Mt of Olives a few days earlier when Jesus rode a donkey down the hillside to enter Jerusalem.  This area had olive trees and near the bottom of the hill was the Garden of Gethsemane.

                Jesus, on this night, was in the garden of Gethsemane.  The word Gethsemane is a Greek word that is derived from the Aramaic word “GadSmane.”  It means olive press.  This was a garden where olive trees were in abundance and this place was where the olives were pressed. 

 

4.)        When we were in Jerusalem we went to the Garden of Gethsemane.  You can see some ancient olive trees there in a garden.  It is said that the olive tree could have been the same ones in Jesus’ day.  The olive tree can live a long time because the shoots come out of old, old parts of the tree.  We did see new shoots coming out of old olive trees in the garden.   

There is a church building right next to the Garden of olive trees.  Inside the church building is a sanctuary and an altar built around a large stone that forms the front of the sanctuary.  

 

5.)        A few days earlier, while we were in Capernaum, which was the ministry headquarters of Jesus, we saw some olive presses.  Our guide spoke to us about how the ancient people used these presses to get oil.  Here is an overview of what I remember. 

 

6.)        You pick the olives when they are ready and place them in a wicker or reed basket.    You fill up these baskets with olives and then stack these baskets one on top of each other.  So, you might have 4 – 6 or more baskets filled with olives. 

            You place these baskets on a heavy stone that has a bowl carved out with a little channel to direct the oil into a container. 

Then you get a heavy board and place that board over the baskets of olives.  You get this board ready and you add a weight to the other end of the board so that you can get maximum pressure to get the oil out of the olives.     

            So you press down on the baskets and the olive oil goes into the bottom of the stone and then it follows the trough cut into the stone into a container.   

            The first pressing of the olives is known as Extra Virgin olive oil.  This is the best quality of olive oil.  This is used in baking and food.    

 

7.)        Then the person at the olive press adds more weight to the board and has a second pressing of the olives.  The second pressing would be harder to squeeze out more oil, and this made the quality ok but not the best.  This oil is known as virgin olive oil.  This can be used for baking but the quality suffers and the taste.        

            Then the person adds the most weight and for the final press and is able to get the remaining oil out of the olive, along with parts of the pulp, and some of the wicker.  This is a poor quality of oil, not fit for human consumption but used for fuel needed for lamps or stoves. 

            This is what I learned in Capernaum of how olives are pressed.  There are three pressings and more weight is added on each press.     

 

8.)        The day I am in the Garden of the Olive Press (Gethsemane) thinking about Jesus in this place I am hit with love.  It is right before He is betrayed and held captive.    

Jesus in the olive press garden would most likely have seen olive presses around the olive trees. I connected the image of an olive press and Jesus being pressed. 

            Jesus was like the olive in that place.  As the olive was pressed the first time Jesus prayed in the garden for one hour.  Jesus was pressed with the weight of the sin upon his shoulders and heart.  For one hour He prayed, as His life was being pressed out of Him.  

            Then Jesus was pressed again for another hour, like an olive that had more weight placed on it.  Jesus had more weight placed on Him as love and life came out from Him.  Jesus did not want to go through with this but it was more important to do the will of the Father.     

            Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God, who came to love was pressed and prayed for another hour.  Jesus was pressed by weight as he prayed for three hours.  Luke 22:44 says, “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” 

            Jesus was sweating, like drops of blood, His life was being pressed out of Him.    

 

9.)        I saw that big rock in the church building by the garden and imagined three hours of Jesus praying as His life was being pressed out of Him.  I experienced the love of God and sat down to cry and pray. 

            I gained a greater understanding of God’s love for me and for the world.  I saw in the garden of the olive press love that was as powerful to me as love in the manger, or on the cross, or at the empty tomb.  On a large rock in an ancient olive grove Jesus was pressed and prayed.   I saw love in a personal and powerful way.  He loved me and gave His life for me.      

            May the cross I gave to you speak to you of His love as you remember the olive wood and the pressing that Jesus endured to give you love and life.