Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Comfort of Friends

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  John 12:1-3

This week is the week leading up to Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection.  Many things happened during this week in Jesus’ life and reading about what Jesus did his last week here on earth, who He was with, and especially the last 24 hours of His life, certainly cast a new light on Easter.  I can’t imagine actually being there as one who loves Jesus and seeing Him experience everything He went through in person.  Jesus had some close friends that He no doubt found some comfort in.  Lazarus, and his sisters, Mary and Martha, were some of Jesus’ closest friends and He chose to spend quite a bit of time with them during His last week here on earth. Imagine being that person – the one that Jesus Himself chooses to spend His last hours with.  What an immense honor and privilege.  He found comfort and solace in the presence of His friends, knowing what was coming. 
The night before His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus spent the night at the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha.  There His closet friends gathered for a dinner in His honor. During the evening, Mary took some very expensive oil and anointed Jesus’ feet.  Wiping His feet with her hair, she displayed her beautiful heart of humility in this act of love and worship.  She knew what He was going to do for her.  She knew He was so close to leaving this earth and her time with Him was short.  She wanted to honor Him in this way while He was still alive rather than wait to adorn a dead body.  She was showing devotion before it was too late, in anticipation of His burial. 
This act of devotion will be one of the last expressions of tenderness that Jesus receives on earth before His death.  Judas criticized her for this sacrifice of great worth, saying the money could be spent on the poor.  But Jesus took up for Mary saying, 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.  John 12:7-8.
Mary paid an extraordinary piece of respect to Jesus as she thought nothing too good to bestow upon Him to do Him honor.  She gave her most valuable treasure to Jesus.  Have you given your most valuable treasure to Jesus?  He must be honored with all we have, and we cannot keep back any part of the price.  Do we give him the precious oil of our best affections?  Let Him have them all; love and worship Him with all your heart.

Scripture to Claim:
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. 
Isaiah 53:5

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