The word “Gethsemane” actual means “olive press.” In Jesus' day, a large stone was used to crush olives in a stone vat to produce olive oil. That olive oil was used for cooking just as it is today. Olive oil is still quite common in food preparation in modern day Israel. Early Christians also used leftovers from the olive pressing process for use in candles. Perhaps most importantly, the virgin olive oil – the highest quality olive oil – was often brought to worship as an offering to the Lord. The olive press, therefore, was a major part of life since olive oil was used for food preparation, food preservation, basic utilities, and first fruits offerings.
Garden of Gethsemane
The word “Gethsemane” is mentioned most often in the Bible when referring to the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus prayed with his disciples before he was betrayed by Judas. The Garden of Gethsemane is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives which overlooks the city of Jerusalem. Olive trees never die, so the trees that can been seen in the Garden of Gethsemane today give a good picture of the olive trees that were actually in or near the Garden of Gethsemane in Jesus' day.
As a congregation of believers in Jesus Christ, the empty cross is displayed often and serves as a central focus of our church. In our worship area, a large cross is located at the front of church. Our logo also displays the cross as a constant reminder of God’s love for us. Through Christ’s suffering and death on the cross, he made the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Through Christ’s resurrection, he declared victory over death and opened the doors of heaven to all believers. We give thanks for the grace that is ours in Jesus!