Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.”- Matthew 26:31-36 ESV
Have you ever had a brother or sister swear allegiance to you and then a few minutes later betray that commitment? Have you ever been sought by so many, but felt so alone? Have you ever felt so much sadness, disappointment, and neglect- like you just don’t matter? Have you ever felt that those that profess their LOVE for you are NOT there when you need them most? Have you ever felt abandoned and forsaken by those you are wanting to take care of and serve? If you have then you have a SAVIOR that has walked in YOUR SHOES, we have a HIGH PRIEST who knows our PAIN, who knows our sorrow, who holds every tear in His hands. Psalm 56:8 tells us; “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in you bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
Leader, according to the website; accordingtothescriptures.org, Jesus fulfills 355 prophecies from the OLD TESTAMENT. This was a prophecy fulfilled from Zechariah 13:7,”Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered”. Gethsemane, means, OLIVE PRESS. This was where things got squeezed. In order to get the OIL from the olive, it must be PRESSED, it must get SQUEEZED! There is an old Proverb that says, “You can tell a man’s religion in times of DESPAIR”. When you push someone’s back against ‘the wall’ you know who you have. Notice the difference between the CREATOR and His CREATURES under the pressure and being squeezed!
Conduit, the only way to get oil out of olives- they must be CRUSHED. The way we respond to our CRUSHING either makes us more LIKE JESUS or more like HIS BROKEN CREATURES. If we want to become more LIKE CHRIST, we must go through a crushing. Some when they get crushed, resist, push against it and become a VICTIM. Others when the walls close in and they feel crushed, they seek God’s guidance. We can get crushed by death, disappointment, medical conditions, financial struggles and the worries of this world. Today the choice is clear: Will your PRESSING make you more BITTER or BETTER? Will you be like JESUS and HOLD your tongue, and CRY out for GOD’s will in your LIFE? When your SOUL IS UNTO DEATH, and you feel all alone, will you cry out to the ONE WHO CRIED OUT, “Forgive them Father for they know NOT what they do”? We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. (Romans 5:3-5a) Amen!