Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Love in an alabaster jar

Throughout the bible, there are many examples of people who showed their love for Jesus.  Today, I want to focus on one person who proved their love for Jesus.  This is evident in Mark 14:1-9.  In this chapter, Jesus is at the house of Simon the Leper.  While eating dinner, a woman comes in and does something unusual.  The woman breaks open an alabaster jar of perfume.  She pours all of the perfume over the head and feet of Jesus.  Who is this brave woman?  This woman is Mary, the sister of Lazarus.  In the bible, anointing with oil represented giving the very best, and giving it all.  In this instance, Mary was giving her very best and all she had to Jesus.  What Mary had was a very expensive jar of perfume.  In those days, this type of perfume was very expensive.  It was worth a year’s wages.  I can’t even imagine taking a year’s worth of wages and pouring it all out at one time.  On top of that, pouring a year’s wages all out on just one person.  Despite all this, Mary gave the best she had.  Before meeting Jesus, Mary probably didn’t have much.  But what she did have is now for Jesus.  Unlike Mary, the disciples were offended by her actions.  The disciples didn’t understand what she was doing.  They thought what she was doing was all a waste, especially a waste of money.  But Mary didn’t care what the disciples thought or said about her.  Nothing or no one was going to stop her.  She wanted to honor Jesus no matter what.  To prove how determined she was, Mary breaks open the jar.  In that time, alabaster jars were used to store very expensive oils.  These types of jars were made out of substances, such as, marble.  In result, these jars aren’t easy to break.  I don’t know how Mary was able to break her jar, but she was definitely determined to break it open.  Whatever the case, I think Mary was determined to break it open so that she could let all of her love pour out on Jesus.  Spiritually, I think the jar represents the body and soul.  In this sense, a broken jar represents a broken soul.  With that, Mary wasn’t just pouring out her expensive perfume, she was pouring out her heart’s perfume.  Mary didn’t spare any expense.  She wanted to lavish Jesus with her love.  She lets it all pour out before the Lord.  Despite her actions, Jesus accepted her and what she did for him.  Jesus appreciated her brokenness.  Her brokenness before him was what made her beautiful in his eyes.  Mary wanted to give Jesus the most precious gift she could offer because he gave her the most priceless gift of all.  This priceless gift is salvation and eternal life with him.  I’m sure being a broken and poured out jar wasn’t easy and probably was very costly.  But Jesus understood and still understands even today.  He understands because he is the most precious broken jar of all.  He let all of his love pour out on the cross.  It’s amazing that the sweet fragrance of his love still fills the world even after two thousand years.  Like Mary, I want to be so poured out that nothing will stop me.  I want my love for Jesus to be a fragrance that is so lavish and extravagant that it fills all of me.  I want it to be so sweet that it touches others when I come into their presence.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's Jesus Doing?

Stop right there Jesus! This baptism is only for sinners! For those who have sinned!  For those who need to repent!  These sinners need to be washed clean!  But not you Jesus!  You’re the sinless Son of God!  What are you doing Jesus! Don’t step any further!  This river is surrounded by filthy sinners!  The water has been contaminated with their sins!  You shouldn’t be here Jesus!  You don’t belong here!  Jesus didn’t listen.  He goes and does something incredible.  He steps right into that filthy water.  It has been infected with every kind of sin imaginable.  You name it and Jesus is waist deep in it.  Jesus stands in sin-infested water without anything to protect him.  In result, Jesus becomes completely covered by all of the sins.  It’s like he’s wearing the sins of all of the sinners.  We would never do anything like this.  And yet Jesus does it.  Because of his baptism, his body is soaking up all the sins like a sponge.  It’s amazing that these very sins were carried all the way to Calvary!