Saturday – Six days
It is rare, knowing the day, the hour, the minute, and the method of your death. It is rarer still, to know all the details surrounding your death, to know why you will die, the pain you will experience, who will be by your side, who will be cheering your death, and who will be mourning. If you knew, how would you spend your final week?
Jesus knew all those details, and more! It was a burden knowing, especially as the time grew closer, as evident by His prayers. He knew he would die in one week. What did He do?
Six days before his death, Jesus arrived in Bethany, just outside of Jerusalem, and visited with His long-time friends – Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead; Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ quarrelsome sisters who differed on their opinion of how to serve; Simon the Leper, a man who though healed by Jesus, was probably still not very welcomed in society.
During dinner that night at the home of Simon the Leper, Martha served Jesus by preparing and serving the meal. Mary, meanwhile, chose another method and used a very expensive perfume to wash the feet of Jesus. Several of those present objected to her use of the perfume, for it was worth about a year’s wages. Surely such an item should be sold and the money given to the poor!
According to the Gospel of John, Judas, the betrayer, was the one who questioned the action. Was Judas truly thinking of the poor? Was he considering the tradition of giving gifts to the poor on the eve of Passover? According to the Gospel of Mark, it was this rebuke which was the spark that led to Judas being willing to betray the Son of God.
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 the 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.
Jesus only had six days left. He chose to spend time with friends and allow them to comfort and honor Him, each in their own way.
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