One cannot overlook the convergence of symbolism when the Mashiach (Anointed One) prays in the midst of an olive grove, in a place called the “Olive Press,” on the slopes of the hill of messianic expectation called the “Mount of Anointing.” The grove was called Gat Shamnei, which means “Olive Press.”
In John 6, many of Yeshua’s followers took offense at His difficult words and turned away from following him. We ordinarily explain that the Jewish disciples found the imagery of eating His flesh and drinking His blood offensive, but that would mean they took the metaphor literally. Instead, His statement about descending from above offended the crowds.
Yeshua’s prayers in Gethsemane were consistent with the model of prayer He taught His disciples. He told them to pray persistently, with simple faith, appealing to God’s goodness, and pleading with Him not to lead them into trial. The biblical heroes did not hesitate to ask God to change His mind.
In those days, two of the disciples of John the Immerser arrived to tell Yeshua about their master’s death. When Rabbi Yeshua heard the news, He offered John’s disciples no trite condolences about their teacher being in a better place or the mysterious ways of God’s will.
Archaeologists discovered a first century tomb at Bethany containing Jewish burial ossuaries. One of the bone boxes bore the name Martha. Another bore the name Lazarus. Is this the final resting place of the man Yeshua resurrected?
The sudden attempt to acclaim Yeshua as king made the situation politically dangerous. Tiberias, the city where Herod Antipas lived, was just a short distance down the shore of the lake. News of a crowd of five thousand gathering around this mysterious associate of John the Immerser would have certainly alarmed Herod Antipas.
On the seventh day of the festival they encircled the altar seven times, chanting out a litany of “hoshanas,” preparing for the final water libation. The worshipers shook their palm branches to create a rushing sound like wind and rain. They thrashed them against the sides of the altar.
The Master felt the malevolent power of evil bearing down on Him. “And behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him” (Genesis 15:12). “The cords of death encompassed [Him] and the terrors of Sheol came upon [Him; He] found distress and sorrow” (Psalm 116:3). In that hour, He did not want to be utterly alone.
Yeshua told them, “Whatever house you enter, first say, "Peace be to this house"; (Luke 10:5), a Jewish salutation and blessing of peace upon the family. The Master said, "If a [son] of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you" (Luke 10:6).
Mary Magdalene believed the Master’s enemies had dealt one more indignity to Him by stealing away his body. Alone with her grief, she gathered the courage to peer into the tomb herself. Two angels clothed in white sat where the Master’s body had lain. The linen shrouds lay between them.