Saturday - Six days. For most, it began like any other Saturday, but this was not any other Saturday. The Passover was a week away, preparations were underway. But on this Saturday, there was a stranger rumor going around, a rumor that the man known as Jesus, had arrived outside of Jerusalem.
In six days He was going to die, but He had much to accomplish before then. Jesus arrived in Bethany, just outside of Jerusalem, where He would remain for His safety. While in Bethany, Jesus visited with old friends: Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead; Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha; and attended dinner at the house of Simon the Leper, likely another man whom He had healed. With a title like Simon the Leper, he was probably still not entirely welcomed in society, even after being healed.
At the dinner, the sisters showed their different ways of serving, with Martha serving the meal and Mary using an expensive bottle of perfume on Jesus, an action which angered some of those present. The Gospel of John records that Judas, the betrayer, was the one who spoke up to question the action. Should not such an expensive bottle of perfume be sold and the money given to the poor instead of wasted? Judas, a man always thinking of money, was probably thinking of the customary tradition to give gifts to the poor on the eve of Passover.
Jesus rebuked all of those who questioned the waste. Was it really a waste? Is honoring the Lord ever a waste? The Son of God was on earth for a limited time, a limited time that was rapidly approaching its end. There will always be poor in the world who can be helped, but a chance to honor the Lord in such a manner will not always exist. Additionally, it was a symbolic foretelling of His coming death. Mary anointing Jesus with perfume was a preparation for His burial.
The Gospel of John is quite harsh towards Judas. The author shows Judas’ concern for the poor as false, instead Judas loved money and did not want to see it wasted. Judas did not understand the significance of Mary’s actions. The Gospel of Mark attributes this incident as the spark which caused Judas to be willing to betray Jesus Christ.
The countdown had begun. Not many people know the day they are going to die, nor the hour, nor the method. He did. He knew the day He was going to die. He knew the hour He was going die. He knew the method with which He was to die. He knew the pain He would experience. He knew the suffering He would endure. The worst was not going to be the severe physical pain, but the excruciating spiritual pain of being separated from His Father. He endured it willingly; a Lamb led to the slaughter. He was going to die: for you.