The word “Gethsemane” actual means olive press. In Jesus day, olive presses were used to crush olives, resulting in olive oil. A large stone was used to crush olives that were places in a stone vat. Just like we use it today in modern times, olive oil was used for cooking and still is prevalent in food preparation today in modern day Israel. Early Christians also used leftovers from the olive pressing process for use in candles to produce light. And perhaps most importantly, the virgin olive oil or highest quality olive oil was often brought to worship as an offering to the Lord. In essence, the olive press was a major part of life as olive oil was used for food preparation/preservation, utilities and first fruits offerings.
The word “Gethsemane” is mentioned most often in the Bible when referring to the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus prayed with His disciples before being betrayed by Judas Iscariot and then crucified. The Garden of Gethsemane is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives, overlooking the city of Jerusalem. Olive trees never die so the trees that can been seen in the Garden of Gethsemane today give a good picture of the olive trees that were actually in or near the Garden of Gethsemane in Jesus day.
As a congregation of believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the empty cross is displayed often and serves as a central focus of our organization. In our worship area, a large cross is located at the front of our church. Our logo also displays the cross as a constant reminder of God’s love for us. Through Christ’s suffering and death on the cross, he made the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Through Christ’s resurrection, he declared victory over death and opened the doors of heaven to all believers. We give thanks for the grace that is ours in Christ, Jesus!
© 2016 Gethsemane Lutheran