Alabaster

I was pondering this today, reading again a chapter of scripture which contained the very famous account of the woman anointing our Lord with the expensive oil.

Jesus explains that she had “anointed him for burial and had done right.”

I wonder, have you ever thought about that perfumed oil and what it might have meant to Jesus?

We have all heard the sermons about being a poured out offering to the Lord, and perhaps even about being forgiven much, or being a Pharisee.

I wonder have you considered that Jesus appreciated it more than we can know?

Not long after this event he is beaten, tortured and carries a brutal cross to Golgotha.

Prior to this however is Gethsemane, sweat, blood and water.

I am not trying to over spiritualize or read anything more into it, however it was during my read that it occurred to me a couple of things, based on the account in Mathew particularly, it says the woman anointed his head.

I believe Luke’s account and Matthews are correct but the focus is different.

I think perhaps as she anointed our Lord the passion in her and the Holy Spirit would have caused the tears to flow without ceasing as her heart broke.

She may not have understood the trial Jesus was about to face but theimages Spirit did, I feel heaven was at play as she anointed him. Perhaps she has fallen at his feet in utter grief and love, and that’s why her tears were on his feet. I don’t think I could stand under that weight either.

Have you ever experienced the flood of tears that comes during prayer when you can’t utter what is in your heart? It is a rare blessing when He allows our spirit to be poured out in prayer. And can you imagine as it is accounted in

 

Psalm 56:8b King James Version (KJV)

 Put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

To think her deed is written for all time in God’s word, but very tear she cried was kept a record of.  Nothing is wasted.

Firstly the oil would have been rich pungent oil, possibly frankincense, myrrh and perhaps as in the Old Testament, there is very special oil and incense made only to the Lord.

I wondered if this strong perfume when heated would emit fragrance as rich perfume does when warmed by our skin.

I thought about Our Lord in the garden praying, and as he sweat tears and blood. Would perhaps the perfume every now and again touch his nostrils and remind him of the love of the woman, and why he is here, and would this encourage and strengthen his resolve?jesus-gethsemane

I pictured him with sweat and spittle, dirt and blood as he carries the cross after everyone has deserted him. Perhaps fragrance breaks through it all and soothes or spurs him on. Maybe it reminds him that he is an offering poured out, just as the flask was poured out. He might have been reminded of his love for his Father and that his offering will be sweet in the nostrils of the Father

As he prayed in the garden he saw history from creation to the end of time, but I like to believe he saw me there, and that, the perfume reminded him of the humanity that would love him and would be faithful to him.

This man’s sacrifice the highest price paid for our freedom.  Yes this is what I was wondering today.I know that heaven and earth were at war in our Lord and history was about to be changed, I don’t try to lighten this occasion.  But maybe this little gesture was used to comfort him in moments when he needed it.  Remember the angel came and ministered to our Lord, but only after the travail of his soul. Perhaps my tears are in a little alabaster bottle in heaven?  nice thought.

Pottery imitation of an alabastron or alabaster v 

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