Wednesday of Jesus’ Journey
It was probably Wednesday when Jesus had just finished His conversation with the disciples on the Mt of Olives, (known as the Olivet Discourse). He reminded the disciples that the Passover feast was only two days away and that He would be handed over to be crucified. (Matthew 26:1-2) This was not the first conversation He had with them about this, but they still hadn’t really grasped what that meant.
Up to this point Jesus had told His disciples He would be handed over to the Gentiles and be killed but had not used the word crucifixion until now. He was very clear there as He spoke to them, there could be no doubt as to His meaning. His death was only two days away.
About the same time only a few miles away, the chief priest and elders had gathered in the court of the high priest, Caiaphas, and were plotting to sneak up on Jesus and kill Him. However, they didn’t want to do it during the festival because they were afraid that it might cause a riot among the people. (Matthew 26:3-5) Perhaps the memory of the crowds shouting “Hosanna” and waving palm branches was still on their minds.
There they were scheming to kill both He (Jesus) who raised men from the dead, and he (Lazarus) who was raised from the dead. (John 12:1-11, Matthew 26:3-5)
It is really hard to miss the irony here. It appears as though they had no tolerance for men who were raised from the dead or for the Savior who raised them dead.
The Alabaster Vial
Jesus was in Bethany eating dinner at Simon the Leper’s house when Mary, Lazarus’ sister, approached Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume. She poured it on His head. (John 12:3-8, Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9). (Only John calls her by name.)Despite discussion over whether or not there were two similar incidents or one the meaning was clear – The King was anointed for His coronation!
What is so significant about the anointing?
In Jewish tradition the kings were anointed to indicate they were the chosen one. For example:
- David was anointed by Samuel to be the new king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:13).
- The words “Messiah” and “Christ” both mean anointed. Jesus the anointed One, was the chosen One, the King of Glory.
As Jesus lay reclining at the dinner table, the woman entered and in an act of impulsive love, she broke a bottle of very expensive perfume and poured it over our Lord’s head and his feet.
As if that had not been loving enough, she began to wipe his feet with her hair. The woman’s hair was her glory (1 Corinthians 11:15) and she laid her glory literally at the feet of the King of glory!
When was the last time your love of Christ was seen in your impulsive generosity?
Anointed for His Rise to Glory!
Some of the disciples were incensed. This was too extravagant! But, Jesus reminded them she had anointed him for His burial. Jesus’ death was on the horizon. The leaders were plotting His demise and this one forgiven sinner was anointing Him for His rise to glory.
Only a few days later Jesus hung on a cross and over His head in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek stood the placard Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews (John19:19). The anointed king, crucified for the sins of the people.
This one forgiven sinner in an impulsive act of extravagant generosity anointed the King of Glory for His coronation day. That is Extravagant Love!
And later that evening one unrepentant sinner (Judas) went to the chief priests and sold the King for the price of a slave, 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16)
The King of Glory was crucified for the sins of His people, buried, and raised to ascend back to His rightful place in heaven. And maybe, just maybe the aroma of the anointing oil still fills the rooms of heaven.
Something to think about
- Have you bowed and left your glory lying at the feet of the King of Glory?
- Is your love extravagant?