PonderIt

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Olive Press and Atonement

I spent hours on chairs and ladders plucking olives from the several olive trees at the BYU Jerusalem Center. We put the olives into bags which were stored until we were ready to press them.

Students crushing olives

At pressing time, the olives were poured into a large stone basin for crushing. We rolled a giant stone wheel over the top of the olives, leaving a messy mash.

Olive Press with red juiced flowing down.

I was surprised to note the color of the fluid that oozed off the baskets in the press. The red color would remain until the particulate matter had settled leaving the pure olive oil on top.

In his recent BYU Devotional address, Vernon Heperi commented on olive oil production.
The metaphor of the olive press has been helpful for me in describing the great suffering that began in Gethsemane and ended on Calvary. Through this metaphor, my finite mind is given spiritual spectacles that allow me to see and better understand the infinite and eternal nature of the atonement. From what I have learned, the process of extracting oil from olives begins with the picking and then bruising and crushing of the fruit. The crushed and broken fruit is then collected into baskets which are stacked one upon the other. They are then placed under the press where tremendous pressure is applied to them. This process slowly crushes the oil from the fruit. The pressure that is applied is firm and fierce, steadily increasing over time until the red stained oil contained therein is extracted from the once unblemished fruit.

5 Comments:

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

  • I didn't realize that the initial oil is red- that got me thinking (feeling?) more than I have in a long time. Wow.

    By Anonymous Ariel, at 12/15/2005 4:36 PM  

  • Another interesting thing about this analogy is that, to colect the olives from the olive trees, they don't pluck olives one by one, they beat the olive trees, causing the rape olives to fall on the ground. Now... Wasn't Jesus Christ also beaten before he finished his atonement?

    By Anonymous Mathew Pretel, at 3/04/2006 1:32 PM  

  • Another interesting thing about this analogy is that, to colect the olives from the olive trees, they don't pluck olives one by one, they beat the olive trees, causing the ripe(eheh) olives to fall on the ground. Now... Wasn't Jesus Christ also beaten before he finished his atonement?

    By Anonymous Mathew Pretel, at 3/04/2006 1:48 PM  

  • Gethsemane literally means "oil press". It was here in His agony that Luke says "His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground" Luke 22:44. The weight of our sins (the oil press, gethsemane) pressed out the very blood of our Savior which in turn brings life to the world!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/01/2006 6:59 AM  

  • Read Tom Mueller's article in the New Yorker,Aug 13, 2007, or his book.

    By Blogger Steve Sr, at 3/17/2012 8:42 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home


 
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.