Prepared for Burial

Read: Mark 14:1-11

She has done a beautiful thing to me. (v. 6)

Sometime during the meal, a woman came in. She brought a bottle of perfume, likely the most valuable item she owned, worth up to a year’s wages. She took it, broke the jar, and poured it on Jesus’s head (v. 3). Those gathered with Jesus looked at her action and said, “Why was the ointment wasted like that?” (v. 4).

What the world calls waste, Jesus calls beautiful. The woman recognized that Jesus was most important. If she had only one jar to give, only one precious thing to pour out, only one life to live, she was going to give it to Jesus. There were many good, decent, or right ways to use her perfume, but she saw Jesus and knew there was only one best thing: Jesus himself. She broke the jar, poured it out, and Jesus called it beautiful.

Jesus also called it beautiful because she prepared Jesus for his burial. “She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial” (v. 8). Nard is a powerful, fragrant perfume. Song of Songs mentions nard in describing the love between the bride and the groom (1:12). This intensely aromatic, heady scent would have lingered in Jesus’s hair and on his skin for days to come. So as Jesus headed toward his burial, he could take in a deep breath and be constantly reminded of who he was doing this for. Everything Jesus endured in the next few days, he did for the love of his bride, the church.

As you pray, thank Jesus for loving you enough to endure everything for you.

About the Author

Stephen Shaffer is the pastor at Bethel Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario.

This entry is part 3 of 31 in the series Looking to Jesus