Thursday, March 28, 2013

Was it worth it?


Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's
son, which should betray him,
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always. John 12: 1-8
When Mary anoints Jesus six days before the crucifixion, Judas says why was this not sold and given to the poor?... Have you ever wondered if it was worth it? I mean, that precious alabaster box, worth a years wages, really could have done a whole lot of good, right? We all know it could have. I've been thinking about this passage a lot and I have a head knowledge that it was right for her to pour it out in adoration; Yes, Jesus said himself, the poor your always going to have, it was for Him. We know it was an act of brokenness and sacrifice, worshipping Him. Upon examining myself, where would my mind go if I was in that room watching Mary anoint Him? Would I side with Mary as Jesus did?

I think about how poverty didn't seem like such a big deal to Jesus especially when you read the sermon on the mount where it says blessed are the poor..., or in
Matthew 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. What do the poor get? The gospel. Well its obvious to me that Jesus didn't come to make us comfortable in this life or fix all of our outward problems. He came to give us hope and comfort us in ways that cannot be seen with human eyes, with the good news.
So that should answer the question. But still I know how much a years salary could help a lot of people, when I first came to Christ, not fully understanding his love and sacrifice- I thought about this, and when I read this passage to ladies in the jail they thought about it.

Jesus' time on earth was coming to a close, Mary sensed it. She deemed Him worthy. Yes, He was worth it. As she sat as his feet He was the one that calmed the storm in her heart with his words, He was the one who with one word awoke her brother from the sleep of death. Jesus was the promised one, the one who was spoken of since the beginning of time, she was sure of it. He would soon lay down his life, maybe she didn't understand the whole plan but she understood enough.
She worshipped him in a way many would call reckless and often still don't understand to the full. This alabaster box, was precious,  once the seal was broken the whole thing had to be used at once, it had to be used for something special, perhaps at one time she even had it reserved for her wedding.  "This valuable ointment was worth 300 pence or denarii, which would be the average wage for 300 days of labor (almost what an average worker would earn in one year)." But Jesus was worth it, no matter who ridiculed her.

When this act of worship occurred, before Jesus' death and resurrection, those in the room, didn't have the full picture yet. The Bible states clearly that all the disciples agreed with Judas (Mat 26:6-13 Mark 14:3-9). They didn't know he was a thief and a betrayer at this time. They also didn't want to hear of Jesus' death. He told them often, preparing them
but they didn't want to accept it, couldn't understand why it would have to be. Having this in mind, not having the full picture, if I was there I think I would have saw it the way they saw it, finding it hard not to think if the ointment was sold the good that money could do. But Jesus set them right reminding them that he was going to die -- He was not going to be with them in this way forever. We need to remember also that he knew the motives of Judas' heart. Perhaps the disciples still didn't understand even after he explained to them that she did it in preparation for his burial, just as I have been slow to understand.

Now I think about after everything the disciples witnessed-- the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. The confusion, the sadness, fear that they must have experienced at first, not knowing completely what was going on. Then the joy and victory seeing Him alive, appear to them and explain through the scriptures the great plan God had laid down from the foundation of the world, showing them how it was all written about Him. Having their understanding opened and seeing for what seemed to be the first time the incredible ultimate sacrifice that was necessary. The love that was poured out upon all of us, while we were still sinners, shackled-- He became sin so we can be free.

They were changed men, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit and each went out living and dieing for the Lord Jesus, even when they were given the option to just say it was a made up lie and go home. No, tradition tells us as martyrs they all went to their graves fully assured that who they lived for was real, alive and true. And I think if we had the chance to ask them: "That alabaster box Mary broke opened--Was it worth it? Is He worth it?"
I believe I know the answer they all would have given, a hearty -'Yes! No Question!' As they gladly poured out their very lives for Him.

To know Him is to love Him.
Is He worth it? Yes, Jesus is worth it!

What is He worth to you?
Let us consider that question as Easter approaches and we rejoice in and celebrate the new life He has given us, or desires to give us.

Happy Easter!

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