Gethsemane: the Pressure Place

Lou Lotz

READ : Luke 22:39-46

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.” (v. 42)

Gethsemane. The word means oil press. In Jesus’ day the contrivance consisted of two massive round stones that ground the olives to a pulp, the greenish oil dribbling down into an earthenware basin.

Gethsemane is that place in your life where you’re being pressed, squeezed. It’s like two big stones are grinding you down, squeezing the life out of you. For some people, their marriage is Gethsemane. They can’t bear to stay, and they don’t dare to leave. For some, it’s a job that is squeezing the life out of you. You can’t live with this job; you can’t live without it.

Gethsemane is the place where you can’t go forward, but you can’t go back. You’re stuck. And you find yourself, like Jesus, pleading for a way out: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.”

Another thing about Gethsemane—it’s a lonely place. Friends and family mean well, but like Jesus’ sleepy disciples, they can’t come with you into the garden.

But God can—and does. In Gethsemane we realize that although we are lonely, we’re not alone. God shares our sorrows and prepares for us a future more redemptive than we can imagine. Say it with me: “Father, not my will, but your will be done.”


Come with me, Lord, into my pressure place.