Sunday, March 11, 2012
the pressed honeycomb
You are my honeycomb; when you were pressed, rich and joyous drops were distilled.
On the threshold of his arrest, Jesus went to a garden to pray. His disciples went with him. Once he got there, he asked three special friends to keep vigil with him. They had just shared a meal, a big meal. They were exhausted. It was late. His friends fell asleep.
Jesus was too anguished to sleep. In fact, he was filled with such stress that his sweat became like drops of blood. His life was literally draining right out of him.
The place was called Gethsemane Garden. “Gethsemane” means “olive press”. This was a place where olives were pressed to make oil.
The text that relates the story of this night-watch, tells us that Jesus was literally “surrounded by” grief and his soul was “pressed upon” by grief. Just as the olives, when pressed, produced drops of oil, so the Anointed One produced drops of life when pressed.
As he hung on the cross, he began to thirst. They gave him some drops of wine vinegar, a sour substance.
When we taste Jesus by faith, his oil and blood-wine do not taste strong and bitter. They are like honey from a honeycomb, sweet to our soul. What could brighten one’s spirits more than a second chance at life? Sweet, sweet mercy; rich, thick forgiveness.
God leads us to a land that has vines, olive oil and honey. -Deuteronomy 8:8