(April 8, 2020)

Mark 14:3 “…as [Jesus] was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head.”

Read: Mark 14:1-11

On Wednesday of the first Holy Week, two key events took place: (1) Judas agreed to betray Jesus, and (2) a woman honored Jesus by breaking a jar of expensive perfume so that she could anoint His head with it.

This passage is filled with irony. Everything is being turned upside-down. Consider:

  • Jesus is in the home of a leper. This is not something a Jew would do.
  • Jesus is anointed on the skin; leprosy is a skin disease.
  • Jesus is served by a woman, but in this social setting the sexes would be separate.
  • The chief priests, Bible students and Jesus’ handpicked disciples don’t understand God at all. But the woman without credentials knows.
  • This is all taking place in the context of Passover, which is a festival that celebrates life. But the chief priests are preoccupied only with death.

The Scriptures are so beautifully written. Now the main image: consider the similarities between this perfume jar and Jesus:

  • Just as the alabaster jar was broken, so Jesus’ body will be broken.
  • Just as the perfume was poured out, so Jesus’ blood will be poured out.
  • The jar was emptied and broken once and for all even though it held the most precious contents imaginable – so too Jesus poured out His own life so that sin would be conquered once and for all.

The women gave the perfume to Jesus, even though she could have sold it for a large sum of money. She could have hoarded it, or used it to feel secure. Everyone around her sharply criticized her, but she apparently is the only one who understood that the Gospel is realized only in suffering. Only in sacrifice.

And the application: this woman surrendered it all. She was “all in” for Jesus. …Are we?

The irony, again, is that it was only in giving up everything and dying to her self, and following God did she inherit life. …And that is what the Festival of Passover has always been all about.

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Father, give us hearts that delight unreservedly in You. Give us hearts that are “all in.”

Pray for our church that we might understand the Gospel. That is, that we might be willing to suffer and sacrifice.