Septuagesima Week – Wednesday
She is come aforehand to anoint my body for the burying. – Mark 14:8.
Six days before the Passover, on Saturday, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper. Martha served, but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him.
Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. Then saith one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who should betray Him: “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor?” (John 12:5). This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and carried what was put therein. And the other disciples were persuaded to agree with him (Matthew 26:8). Then said Jesus: “Let her alone; against the day of My burying hath she kept this. She is come aforehand to anoint My body to the burying. For the poor ye have always with you, but Me ye have not always” (John 12:7-8; Mark 14:8).
Jesus went to meet His death most willingly. This is clear from this story. Mary’s fervent love for her Savior moved her to do what she did for Him. And her Savior would not let the other disciples chide her. Surely, you, O Christian, know what your Savior has done for you, how He loved you as “the propitiation for [your] sins, and not for [yours] only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2), and how He still loves you through the revelation of His Gospel of grace and mercy. Ask yourself: Do I truly and genuinely love Him and His Word? How do I show my love for Him and for His Word?
May your answer again and again be: I “love Him because He first loved [me]” (I John 4:19) as my “good Shepherd,” who laid down His “life for the sheep” (John 10:11 and John 10: 15).
PRAYER – O my dear Savior, Jesus Christ, who of Thy great love didst give Thy life into death for me, and who still loves me, and will always love me with a boundless love: I confess my love for Thee, but it grieves me sorely that I cannot love Thee as I should. Comfort me with Thy full, finished, and blood-bought pardon for all of my shortcomings in my love for Thee. With that pardon, move me more and more to grow in my love for Thee, for Thy Word, for my fellow believers, and for those still in spiritual darkness. Amen.
May Thy rich grace impart, strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire;
as Thou hast died for me, oh, may my love to Thee; pure, warm, and changeless be, a living fire!
While life’s dark maze I tread, and griefs around me spread, be Thou my Guide;
bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away, nor let me ever stray, from Thee aside.
(Hymn 394, st. 2-3; TLH)