Day 3: The Anointing for Burial
Take a Break
Make It Personal
The King has arrived in the capital city, but so far he hasn’t done anything that kings are supposed to do. The people lining the streets shouting “Hosanna!” at the triumphal entry were probably more than a little confused as to how the man on a donkey planned to liberate them from Rome. The disciples were, no doubt, confused as to how Jesus’ actions in cleansing the temple would result in them sitting in places of power in this new kingdom he had talked so much about. Beyond the fact that Passover was approaching, it seems that nobody really understood why Jesus was in Jerusalem. Which is really weird because he spelled it out quite clearly on multiple occasions. He was in Jerusalem so that he could be handed over to the religious leaders and Jewish authorities in order that they could kill him.
Enter Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Yes, the Lazarus who had recently been raised from the dead by Jesus). Once again in the presence of Jesus, she broke an incredibly valuable jar of perfume open and anointed the head and feet of her King. Did she know why Jesus had really come to Jerusalem? The disciples didn’t ‘get it’ when Jesus told them directly, so perhaps we can forgive them for their response to Mary’s actions here. For all of them, and Judas in particular as we will see tomorrow, this was a ridiculous waste of resources. For Mary, the sacrifice was a most appropriate response. For Jesus, it was a beautiful gesture of preparation for His burial.
What about for you? What is the connection between sacrifice and praise? Can you think of a time in your life where a personal sacrifice felt like the only appropriate way to express your thanks, appreciation or love? As we all continue to prepare our hearts for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, seize this moment with a simple prayer.
Make It Stick
Following the example from today’s reading, our task is to offer our King a sacrifice of praise. Find a way (or a few ways) to simplify your life. Some have likely been doing this already in observance of Lent. If so, we want to challenge you, just for today, to sacrifice something else. Perhaps you could fast for the day, or give up your phone (except for emergencies). Maybe, like Mary, you’ll find a creative way to sacrifice your time, talents, or resources to praise your King.
Ask your kids to give up one thing for the day (e.g. sweets, video games, or maybe their favorite stuffed animal). Explain that simplifying our day is one way we can humble ourselves to be more like Jesus.
Encourage your student to give up social media, video games, Netflix, something they usually enjoy and try to fill that time by serving your family (clean the house, their room, sibling’s room, etc.).