Tuesday, April 09, 2024

What will you be remembered for?


All photos courtesy of Unspalsh

I have been reading Matthew 26, which records the events leading up to the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. In amongst the stench of betrayal and hatred, Matthew recalls a time in Bethany a few days earlier when he and the other disciples were in Simon's house with the Lord. His memory is full of the scent of Spikenard - a precious, costly anointment used to anoint bodies for burial. He remembered how, during their meal together, Mary had entered and broken open a new casket of this vastly expensive oil and poured the lot all over the head of the Lord Jesus. There was so much that as it trickled down upon His body and feet the air they breathed was instantly intoxicated by its heavenly scent.


Everyone was aghast. 'What a waste', they had said indignantly - 'that should have been sold and given to charity'. They thought investing in worship and demonstrating love for the Saviour was a waste of money. But they were missing the point. Lazarus, Mary's brother, was in the room that day. Yet only a few days before, absolutely distraught, Mary and her sister Martha had anointed Lazarus's dead body with oil, wrapped him in grave clothes and participated in the burial service. By the time the Lord Jesus finally arrived three days later, Lazarus's body had already declined into stinking decay, all hope gone. Yet, they had stood with the Lord at the mouth of Lazarus's burial chamber and heard Him call 'Lazarus come forth', and so he had wound up in burial clothes, yet not a whiff of death upon him. 'Loose him and let him go' the Lord had said, and so they had. Later, he sat with them for a meal, talking and eating like everyone else. Sorrow had turned to unimaginable joy. 

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

Mary knew that if the Lord was to be crucified, it would be entirely by His choice. Death had no claim upon Him. She recognised Him as the Holy Son of God, sent into the world to voluntarily lay down His life as a perfect sacrifice to take away the stench of sin and death and hell for all those who wanted forgiveness from God. She showed her appreciation and ensured that the scent of spikenard would linger upon His body all through His sacrificial suffering until the time that He rose again, breaking the bond of death forever, past, present and future. The Lord made it clear that He understood, silencing her critics and declaring that wherever the gospel is preached, her act of faith and love should be told as a memorial of her.  


I wonder what you and I will be remembered for. I pray that the scent of Mary's worshipful act of appreciation will stir your heart today to understand that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. When you reach that point, you will realise He came into the world to provide salvation through His death on the cross. You need Him and the salvation He offers. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

Used by kind permission


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