It is without a doubt the most important time of the year for Christians around the world. It is the fulfillment of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and the glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is said that upon his burial in the tomb, Jesus descended into hell, it is on the third day that Jesus rose again from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father. It is thence Jesus judges the living and the dead. It is the judgement we all must face one day in the midst of Christ that inspired me to reflect on the scripture in John 12.
In John 12:1-8 it says, Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”
This moment in scripture is one of the most romantic and poetic even more so than the Song of Songs to me. Her actions are one of the most beautiful poetic acts in all of scripture. It is in her deep every burgeoning love for Jesus that she cracks open the spikenard and pours it over his head and feet. Not only does she pour the jug in its entirety, but she proceeds to use her own hair to massage it into his feet. Now as a woman, I can assure you that your hair is a part of your identity as a feminine being, and I am not mopping my hair all over just any mans feet. Especially ones that have walked in sandals along dirt paths in the hot sweaty desert sun. That man, well, that man could only be the King himself, Jesus. No other man could bequest such adoration. She proves there is no other love that has walked this earth more than Jesus. She not only sacrificed an entire bottle of expensive perfume, but she dirties her own hair with it. One can only hope she also received a moisture rich extravagant lush look with her hair after that moment.
When we are madly deeply in love, their is nothing out of the question. There is nothing that we would not do. I am sure we can all think of those first few months of puppy love in a new relationship. The love that we were over the moon for, and would foolishly do anything to show our love and adoration. It is in this moment that this lovestruck, awestruck, deeply and passionately in love women was willing to give away an earthly thing to show where her honor, devotion, and her heart truly lies. While the rest of the room is filled with confusion and some with sheer panic that she so spastically wasted an entire bottle of this oil, Judas speaks out that surely there are other ways that it could have been used to help others.
Jesus in this moment makes one of his first judgements. He highlights that her love and devotion is recognized and that he sees whose heart is in the right place in this room. He says surely her story will be made known for all the world. Her judgement and legacy came to pass before his death on the cross. Her willingness to be unattached to things of the earth, and to attach herself to the Father would prove reward in heaven and all over the world for centuries to come.
So as we celebrate Easter this year, there is no better time than ever to examine our conscience for the judgement of Christ is upon us all. Ask yourself if you are willing to say yes to Christ and detach yourself from the things of the earth. Are you willing to detach yourself from your body, your possessions, and your status in exchange for the most extravagant of all Love. Are yiu courageous enough to fall madly deeply and passionately in love with the Lord. To follow Jesus at any cost and to stand righteously with what He personally calls you to be is a bold and tragically poetic act of love and devotion. To live in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is to live like this woman. Soaking the room in the fragrance of true love and devotion. She sets the stage of what our lives as human beings can look like when we drip in the Fathers love. Amen.