My pastor Scott Cagle for the last few weeks has been walking us up to the cross at Northstar Church. Last week he shared the story and his thoughts on Mary and her Alabaster Box. It fascinated me - for lots of reasons, and a few I had not considered before were brought to mind as I sat there listening and even in the days since.
The "incident" happened before Passover in Simons House. (By the way, Christ would have dined there even if He hadn't already healed Simon. He would have walked right in and blessed Simon and shared his table - just like my Lord...
There were several people there eating together, some of which were Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Simon, the Disciples of course, maybe even more.
My Pastor shared with us that each time this Mary is mentioned in the bible that she was at the feet of Jesus - what a wonderful place to be found!
· She sat at His feet and listened to the Word in Luke when Martha was aggravated with her because she was not helping cook and clean and do the busy work of the day.
She knew the worship of listening to His voice and Reading the Word was more important
· She dropped to the feet of Jesus after the death of Lazarus in John. Not so much in sorrow that her brother was dead but in worship of the one before whom she knelt because she understood the life giving power He held and was overwhelmed - they were tears of worship of the Christ, the Messiah, the Miracle Worker
· She also was at His feet as she broke her alabaster container of the most expensive anointing oil that could be purchased at that time - a years salary worth in fact... how long she must have saved for this.
And this particular perfumed oil was usually reserved for a wedding bride, or to show honor of a loved one in death.
I have never truly considered this was for both of those reasons!
* Mary broke open this precious gift and proclaimed herself bound to the groom before her for eternity, as His bride, all as the disciples chastised her for "wasting" what could have fed the poor - they didn't consider the fact that here Mary was pouring out her personal worship on the one who IS the Bread of Life!
* Mary also broke open this gift over the One who would soon give up His life for all of them, for all of us, when He would die on the cross... she poured her personal worship out as the first one to anoint His body BEFORE He even died.
That's why you don't find this close personal friend of Christ at the cross with the others when He was taken down - she had already honored Him!
And here's another thought that hit me like a ton of bricks - when Mary dried His feet with her hair and she left that room, she left that home that night being the only one who shared such a personal experience with him - one like no other would! She even smelled like Jesus! Oh my goodness, to have such a unique soul and heart meshing experience with the Son of God!
She found all she ever needed at His feet - blessings, burdens cast off, and beauty of a binding relationship with her King... all because she worshipped Him sacrificially and freely each time she encountered Him!
Mary wasn't rich. That anointing oil and perfumed spice was worth a years salary. It was a commodity that was expensive. Alabaster itself was the most expensive container you could buy. Once the box was opened, the oils had to be used immediately because they would begin to break down right away - lose their scent, their properties that made them extravagant. The stone container could only be used by destroying it.
Sound familiar? Like a broken body hanging on the cross spilling out the precious contents from inside?
It was all or nothing.
The gift - the one thing she had of value was all that would do. Like God's gift this Easter season over 2,000 years ago. It was all or nothing, only the most precious part of Himself would do to save His most precious creation.
Extravagantly lived out, freely flowing, sacrificial worship - we owe Him nothing less this Easter and every day after...
I want to break open my alabastor box of worship for Him! I want to have a heart and soul meshing experience every time I encounter Him!