The word gethsemane is derived from two Hebrew words: gat, which means “a place for pressing oil (or wine)”, and shemanim, which means “oils.” During Jesus’ time, heavy stone slabs were lowered onto olives that had already been crushed in an olive crusher. The slab’s weight squeezed the olive oil out of the pulp, and the oil was collected. The image of the gethsemane on the slope of the Mount of Olives where Jesus went the night before his crucifixion provides a vivid picture of his suffering. The weight of the world’s sins pressed down upon him like the heavy slab of the olive crusher. His sweat, “like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44), flowed from him like olive oil.


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