When the Lord gave me the vision of this painting I questioned the Lord about the “Word” for the painting and I heard Him respond, “Gethsemane,” I further probed, “Lord, what shall I say?” His only respond was, “Focus on Gethsemane.”
Gethsemane was a garden surrounded by an olive grove on the Mount of Olives, which means “oil press.” The meaning and depth of this gives phenomenal insight as to what Christ endured during this particular time in the garden.
The Garden itself stands for the world, the flesh, the devil, and the seen and unseen realm.
It was a place where spiritually, past, present and future converged and the eternal destiny of mankind was forever changed
Gethsemane was where Jesus often met with His disciples (Jn 18:1, Matt.26:36, Mk. 14:32) and where He was betrayed and arrested preceding the crucifixion. It was a place of great testing, trial, suffering (Lk 22:44) and distress (Mat. 26:37), a place of great spiritual warfare between The Creator and The Destroyer. It was a place of solemn loneliness (Mt. 26: 37-38), abandonment (Mat. 26 40-41, Isa. 53:6), and great sorrow (Mat. 26:38, Heb5:7, Isa. 53:4-5). It was a place of human tiredness and weakness (Psalm 69:20).
It was a place where Jesus sought intimacy with His closest earthly friends and was abandoned by them (Mat26:37-38, 4:18-22, Mk. 5:37-43).
Gethsemane was also a place of great strength, it was a place where Jesus prayed in agony (Mat 26: 42, 44), and in Godly fear (Heb. 5:7), not so much that the “cup” was removed rather that He would be able to drink it. The Garden was a place where Jesus extended His entire resignation…”Not my will but your will be done.” (Matt 26:39,42). It was a place of great victory. It was place of preparation for Jesus’ journey to the cross and a place where Jesus received an answer to His prayer (Lk. 22:43), strength from an angel (2 Cor. 12: 7-10) and renewed determination( Mat.26:45).
As you can see the Garden was both a place of suffering and strength, Jesus went into the garden suffering and left it strengthened in His determination.
Olives stand for spiritual fruit, a fruit typified by the Holy Spirit; they speak of peace, joy, provision, immortality, and are representative of abundance and purity. Its symbology is consistent with our Lord’s potent fruit in our lives.
Olives are unique as they contain natural sodium, which many of us enjoy.
Salt is symbolic of the enduring, the pure, covenant, preservation, durability, and endlessness.
Oil speaks of anointing which in turn speak of being set apart for God, divine authority, and is associated with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments; 1Sam. 16:13. Isa.61:1, Acts 10:38, 1 Jn. 2:20
In biblical times the ripened fruit of the olive tree was shaken violently and knocked off with sticks, what was ripe fell what was not ready remained on the branches, there were many casualties where unripe fruit was also shaken and knocked off by sticks since ripe and unripe fruit grew together.
The violent shaking spoken above is a representation of the shaking of the earth immediately proceeding the death of Jesus (Mat.27: 50-51), the ripe and the unripe fruit stand for those that were ready to receive Him and those that were not.
After the fruit was gathered in baskets it was taken to rock hewn presses (a heavy vertical stone wheel) where it went through levels of crushing.
This stone wheel was rotated by one or two people or by an animal pushing a horizontal bar. The camel or donkey turning the stone was blindfolded to prevent them from getting dizzy as it walked around and around.
When the fruit was crushed, the pulp was then treaded upon or pressed by being placed in special rope baskets about three inches thick where they were piled upon one another in a large Press with a long wooden beam weighted by heavy stones.
The oil and liquid (water) that was squeezed out was separated into Settling Vats, which were huge round pots with two holes for draining excess water.
The above description of the levels of crushing speak of the intensity of His sufferings, the stone wheel speaks of His unending torment, it was something that just kept going, the donkey speaks of burden bearing and humility and the camel of a servant’s heart, endurance, long journey and burden bearing as well. Jesus was also blindfolded
The wooden beam and the heavy stones speak of the weight of the world that was laid upon Him.
The pot speaks of His body and the holes speak of His body being pierced the draining of the water speaks of the water and blood that flowed from His side.
At times when a smaller quantity was all that was needed, olives were prepared by beating them in a mortar and pestle or simply with a stone (Ex. 27:20). Oil prepared in this manner was said to be particularly pure (Lev. 24:1-3).
I have framed this particular painting with an Olive Grove, as was the original Gethsemane, some olives are darker than others in order to distinguish those that were ready for harvesting and those that were not.
Jesus is kneeling in prayer on a white stone wearing a white loincloth symbolizing His transparency, purity, and humility. The white stone stands for God the Father the solid ground upon which Jesus kneels. The flowers on the ground are symbolic of purity and hope, the outline of blue stands for the revelatory and heavenly presence of the ministering angel sent to strengthen Him. In ancient times green was considered to be the color of the prophet and indicative of divine activity. Grass speaks of frailty of the flesh.
In the vision I received that prompted this painting, Jesus is wearing a crown of thorns, speaking of the troubles and spiritual affliction that were upon Him as He wrestled with His humanity in the garden.
In the background and in between the olive branches are a set of eyes closed and in intense intercession, the eyes of God the Father…Son and Father share intense and deep communion. God the Father weeps for what His only begotten son must endure. As His tears flow they fall upon the head of Jesus where a rainbow of warmth and love has formed, and strength, peace, and comfort are achieved.
On each eyelid are two miniature drawings, On the left side is the heel of the Second Adam crushing the serpents head announcing the demise of Satan foretold in Genesis 3: 14-15, on the right eyelid is Golgotha and the victory of the cross symbolized by the “rising of the sun”(Son) (Lk.24: 6). Morning (Mourning) has broken!!!
This art piece is about VICTORY! The message is DO NOT GROW WEARY, DO NOT LOSE HEART!!!
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12: 2-3)