Lenten Reflection 4-13-22

Lenten Reflection Day 37 - by Kim Wu

Luke 22:39, 41-44 He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him.  Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.”  Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength.  In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.

Jesus often spent time in the Garden of Gethsemane, which meant Garden of the Olive Press, and the night before his crucifixion was no exception.

In Old Testament times, kings and priests were both anointed with oil before taking their new positions. Olive oil is made by crushing the olives with a giant stone.  So for the anointing to take place, there had to be some crushing first.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Jesus is our High Priest and King.  “After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3)  He was crushed so that He could be anointed.

We also have a calling, and to answer that call, we must be pressed.  A.W. Tozer wrote, “It is doubtful whether God could ever bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”  Crushing rids the olive oil of its bitterness, and is the way to get what it most valuable from the olive.  It is from our places of pain that we are most effective in our ministry.

Lord Jesus, we are afflicted in every way, but not distressed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;  always carrying in the body Your death, so that Your life may also be made visible in our bodies.  For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Your sake, so that Your life may be made visible in our mortal flesh.  Let us hold these truths in our hearts, so that You may be proclaimed through us. Amen.

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