The Alabaster Box
Just before the passover Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper. "There came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head." (Mark 14:3)
Some ridiculed her behavior, wondering why the ointment was wasted.
It could have been sold for more than three hundred pence. The money could have been given to the poor. People who were watching murmured against her.
I can't help but wonder what thoughts filled her heart in that moment. Did she question her devotion? Did she second guess the actions prompted by her testimony?
I think not.
She did what she could, for she knew He would not always be with them.
Her devotion and her testimony led to actions that spoke of her belief.
The Lord was grateful for her gift, "She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of as a memorial of her." (Mark 14:8-9)
I thought it appropriate that we begin our Easter preparations by speaking of this act of devotion.
What is it about this woman's service that is so memorable?
I am most impressed by her devotion to that which she believed ––even in the face of mockery.
She did what she could.
She brought what was most precious as her offering to the Lord.
What can we learn from her?
From the Bible Dictionary we come to understand that “the English word Christ is from a Greek word meaning anointed, and is the equivalent of Messiah, which is from a Hebrew term meaning anointed. (Bible Dictionary)
Perhaps this woman’s humble offering, her tribute of anointing the Lord, was an outward expression of her heartfelt testimony.
She knew her Savior.
She believed in Him as Jesus Christ the Holy One of Israel, the Messiah, the Son of God. She recognized Him as the Anointed One ––He who had come to preach good tidings and to bind up the broken hearted. The One who would proclaim liberty to the captives and open the prisons of those who were bound. He who would offer comfort to all that mourn, who would give unto them beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning. The Savior who would bring the garment of praise for the Spirit of heaviness. (See Isaiah 61:1-3)
She loved the Lord. Her heart was filled to overflowing with adoration for Him, and that sentiment defined her actions.
Is the same true of us? When was the last time you broke open the alabaster box?
As we become devoted to the Lord we begin to understand the heart of this woman with the alabaster box.
I want to love the Savior as she did. I want to honor Him with my actions. I want to pour daily from the alabaster box.
So that when I see him again I can say I have done what I could.
Here is an Easter tradition you might like to try.
You will need:
a branch from a tree a vase plastic Easter eggs (one for every member of your family) needle and thread paper
Assemble a Testimony Tree:
Place a small branch into a water filled vase. Give every member of your family a small piece of paper. Take a few minutes to express your devotion to the Lord. Why is He precious to you? At the very bottom of the paper write one way you could show your devotion to Him daily. Then, instead of breaking the alabaster box, break open an Easter egg and put your paper inside.
Before you shut the egg, push a threaded needle through the top of the egg. Tie a knot on the inside and then tie the other end of the thread to part of the branch. Hang each of your eggs from the branch in this way. Every time you look at the testimony tree you will be reminded of your devotion for the Lord.