Monday, February 21
In ancient Jewish tradition, a mother wove a seamless garment for her son when he left home. Did Mary do this for Jesus? No one knows but I’m pretty sure, if she held to tradition, she must have.
If Mary lovingly created it, Jesus wore it, probably wearing it before His betrayal when He went to Simon the leper’s house. As He reclined at the table, a woman came and broke open her beautiful, alabaster passion box, full of the extremely valuable, perfumed oil of spikenard.
As she lovingly poured it upon Jesus’ head, it likely trickled down His cheeks, seeped into His beard, and gently dripped upon His shoulders, saturating His garment. (Mark 14:3, Matt. 26:6-7)
In Eastern culture, the garment of the bridegroom was saturated with rich perfumes. As this woman lovingly poured out her precious possession upon the heavenly Bridegroom, it permeated His garment.
Almost as prophetic words, the Shulamite woman says of her beloved in the beautiful Song of Solomon, “While the king is at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance.” (SOS 1:12 NKJV)
Don’t you know that through the long hours of His agony in the garden, during His betrayal, in the courtyard of His judgment before Caiaphas and Pilate, and until that garment was removed, Jesus must have breathed in that sweet smell of sacrificial love poured out upon Him, while this scripture likely echoed in His Spirit, “The odor of your ointments is fragrant, your name is like perfume poured out.” (SOS 1:3 Amp)
As He probably did not wash His hair, the fragrance clung to it. That sweet aroma must have wafted its fragrance of love into His nostrils throughout His torment at the whipping post and while hanging on the cross, more than likely thinking, “This is for all those who will pour out their love on Me.”
Jesus’ sacrifice for our forgiveness and eternal life cost Him His life and was a sweet aroma to God, as scripture says, “God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to Him.” (Eph. 5:2b TLB)
Are our trust and faith as that sweet aroma of the alabaster passion box poured out to Jesus? Do our offerings cost us something, or do they have little meaning to us? If we give God what is of little value to us, how will it be of any value to Him? If a sacrifice is to be a true sacrifice, it must cost something to give it.
A true, sacrificial worship gift costs us the surrender of our money, for we give sacrificially, as the widow who gave her two mites. It costs us the surrender of our time, for we sacrifice it to put God first. It costs us the surrender of our hearts, for we sacrifice our love to those who hate us. It costs us the surrender of our lips, for we sacrifice our praise to God when all seems lost.
What have you given Him? What does it cost you? Will it be, as David said, “that which costs me nothing”? (2 Sam. 24:24b NKJV) Whatever it costs, it must come from a loving and willing heart.
Jesus gave you His sweet sacrifice of salvation. Have you given your life as a sacrifice back to Him, as that “sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God”? (Phil. 4:18 NKJV)
(This is submitted for Peter Pollock’s One Word at a Time Blog Carnival on the topic sacrifice. Check out Peter’s site for the other entries.)