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THE ANOINTING AT BETHANY




The lyrics to Steve Green’s 1984 song are marvelous, meaningful, and memorable.


“One day a plain village woman, driven by love for her Lord recklessly poured out a valuable essence, disregarding the scorn. And once it was broken and spilled out a fragrance filled all the room, like a pris’ner released from his shackles, like a spirit set free from the tomb. Broken and spilled out, just for love of you Jesus, my most precious treasure lavished on Thee. Broken and spilled out and poured at Your feet. In sweet abandon, let me be spilled out and used up for Thee.”


The last verse is the most moving!


“Lord You were God’s precious treasure, His loved and His own perfect Son, sent here to show me the love of the Father, just for love it was done. And though You were perfect and holy, You gave up Yourself willingly. You spared no expense for my pardon, You were used up and wasted for me.”


Hallelujah!


The song harkens back to the Gospel account of a plain village woman, Mary, the sister of Lazarus (John 12:3).


Jesus was the guest of honor at a celebration, but there was another celebrity in attendance. “Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with him” (John 12:2). Days prior to this banquet, Jesus had called a corpse, one decomposing in the grave for four days, back to life. Lazarus, the once-dead, was very much alive and on full display.


Marching thru Mark, we read, “while (Jesus) was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured it on his head” (Mark 14:3).


Imagine the conversations…


Some in the crowd were not complementary or appreciative, “expressing indignation to one another: ‘Why has this perfume been wasted? For this perfume might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor’ ” (Mark 14:4-5).


Others might have said, “look! She broke it… the ornate ‘alabaster jar of very expensive perfume’ ” (Matthew 26:7).


“She didn’t just use a small amount of the perfume; she poured it out… all of it! She’s poured it on Jesus’ head (Mark 14:3) and on His feet” (John 12:3).


“Oh my! Look! Mary unfurled her long black hair. She’s using her hair like a slave would use a rag to wipe off Jesus’ feet” (John 12:3).


I’m grateful for Steve Green’s song. It commemorates a beautiful moment at the end of Jesus’ life… the day that Mary taught us to worship! She gave her best! She gave it all!


“You spared no expense for my pardon, You were used up and wasted for me … In sweet abandon, let me be spilled out and used up for Thee.”




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