Hello Deer Flat Family,
Jer and I had the privilege today of walking where Jesus walked. We walked the Palm Sunday Path down the Mt. of Olives, over to the City of Jerusalem. Once again it was unforgettable. Today you can still follow the footsteps of Jesus in Jerusalem. There’s no shortage of places in the city that testify to His being there.
At the foot of the Mount of Olives is an ancient Olive Garden. The Gospels tell us that Jesus used to visit a wonderful, quiet place there in Jerusalem called, “Gethsemane -the place of the pressing.” It was there that Jesus prayed in great agony about God’s plan of salvation. What set this place apart is that it was an orchard of Olive Trees, and in that place there was an olive press. Think about the process used to make olives and gathering the olive oil.
The trees would be beaten to knock the olives to the ground, collected and then put in the olive press. A heavy stone would be rolled over them so that their outside skin would be broken, allowing the olive oil to ooze out.
The next step would be to gather up the olives in gunny sacks and stack them in a location where they can be pressed and the oil can be collected. Heavy weights would be placed on the stack of olives so that the pressure would squeeze the oil out. Then, it was collected in containers and served a variety of important purposes, including cooking, creating light, soap and especially the giving of a tithe to the Temple.
This is exactly what was happening to Jesus on the night of His betrayal. He was so weighted down with the weight of the sin of the world, the gospels tell us that he, “sweat as it were drops of blood.” In fact, it goes on to say that the Angels from heaven ministered to him there in order to strengthen him for the hours that lay ahead.
In just over a week we will be taking an in-depth look at the last week of Jesus life. We’ll walk with Him through Passion week – His arrest, betrayal, trial, crucifixion. We’ll consider his Disciples, His mother Mary, and the other Mary’s, and the people of His day. I have much to show you in God’s amazing Word. March is going to be an outstanding month, and I can’t wait to see all of you. In the meantime, Jer and I have carried you in our heart, lifted you in our prayers, and thought about you throughout our time away. We have thanked God 1,000 times for our Deer Flat Family.
Continue to pray for us. It’s the greatest thing you’ll ever do for us. I LOVE MY CHURCH!