March 31, 2015

Passion Week || Extravagant Love


Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. ~John 12:1-3
If there's a woman in scripture I'm jealous of it would be Mary, because she gets it. Like she genuinely, with her whole heart gets Jesus. Even more than Christ's band of brothers, the disciples, ironically enough.

At this time in history only four people were anointed: kings, prophets, priests, and the deceased. And how perfectly did Christ fit all of these? He is the King of Kings, our great High Priest, THE prophet, and with the shadow of the cross casting itself at this dinner party to honor Jesus--Mary prepares Him for death.

There's something about this moment though for our girl Mary. It's here that she is so overcome by her love for Christ--her Savior--that she takes the most extravagant, costly, valuable thing she owns, breaks it before Jesus feet, and pours it all out upon Him. A significant, tangible way to express this generous, precious kind of love for Him. This was the love He'd shown her, which beget the same love from her to Him. 

Love begets what it sows. 

None of that oil would be left when she was finished, because true love gives it all to the recipient.

To onlookers this would've been ridiculous display of oneself: impractical, illogical, and wasteful. But God's view of what is practical and logical is always seemingly different than our own. And nothing, nothing poured out for Christ goes to waste. It was ridiculous by all Jewish traditional accounts, for this was an act only servants preformed. And it most certainly would've been seen as inappropriate for Mary at this time, because only promiscuous women would've let their hair down. Honestly, the scene could've easily been interpreted as sensual to onlookers.

Two things: Jesus wasn't uncomfortable with this extravagant, truly female and emotional act of worship on Mary's part. In fact he says that it is wonderful. And Mary, so secure in her love and acceptance in Christ, no longer cares what the cost is or what others may think or say about her. She's totally free in her love for Jesus. 

During this passion week I want to reflect and think on how I can be more extravagant in my love for Christ, as he has been above and beyond extravagant in his love for me. And in turn how am I showcasing that to others? With fear with what onlookers may think? Or in abandoned freedom? Maybe you'll join me in asking the same questions.

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