Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”
Jesus has been preparing His disciples for His departure by reminding them of His impending arrest, torture, crucufixion, death and resurrection in three days (Matthew 20:17-19). He spoke in Parables on the Mount of Olives to all who would hear. He taught them about preparing for the the persecution and wars that would come, the end times and of course the hope of His return. Although those listening may not have been aware of it, but Jesus was telling them to be prepared for the changes that were about to come. At the same time the Religious Leaders were plotting to kill Jesus and they found an ally in Judas Iscariot.
But perhaps the most important event that happened was when a woman came a broke her alabaster jar of expensive perfume over His head. The aromatic oil, ran down His face onto His beard and chest. He probably wiped some away from His eyes and it was on His hands and rubbed it into His skin not wanting to waste a drop of her sacrificial oil. That bottle cost her a years wages, but Jesus was more precious and priceless than any perfume. Afterall He transformed her life completely.
What she probably didn’t realize was the aroma of such love would permeate through the brutal betrayal of one of His disciples, the beatings and hurtful words, the physical torture and whipping and the cruelty of the cross. Yes, it would prepare Him for burial, but more importantly it would help Him remember the grateful heart of a life that would remind Him of His true purpose, to bring His gift of salvation to all who would believe in Him.
As He said, to this day what she did is remembered. May it help us remember to be grateful for what He accomplished for us on the cross and sealed the Covenant with rising from the tomb. May our praise and worship be a sweet smelling sacrifice to Him every day.