Thursday, February 28, 2008

Update on Mary-of-the-alabaster-jar

It struck me yesterday after posting the story of Mary and her expensive perfume in the alabaster jar that we don't use our sense of smell much in Bible study. Maybe it was on my mind, but I wish I had the courage to ask Mr. Non-Food manager at Tom Thumb what aftershave he was wearing. Wow. Talk about how a fragrance memory can linger---I gotta find that stuff for my dearest. Whew.

Then when we went to Wednesday night Bible Study, the pastor was continuing through the book of Luke. In chapter four, Jesus stands up in his hometown synagogue and opens to a specific passage in Isaiah (61) and reads half the sentence, and stops before the vengance line, and sits down and proclaims that what He just read has been fulfilled that day.

"The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, tyo proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

The "anointed" word did not leap out at me at that point. I was busy reading ahead in Isaiah 81 where the passage reveals oil of joy instead of oil of mourning.

What is festive oil? What is oil for mourning?? Mary knew.

Jesus points out in Matthew 26, Mark 14 and John 12 that Mary is anointing His body for burial.

The fragrance filled the house and made the disciples mad about the waste and extravagance.

Jesus smells good. Anointing of kings was done with special oil.

Thank you, Lord for all the extra hints and extras enrichment yesterday. Thank you for the gift of the sense of smell. Please make our prayers a pleasing aroma to your nose. The gift of your Son is the gift beyond what we fathom in cost. That is why its a gift--because we can't pay, and we don't earn or deserve it. But, the gift of Your Son is also of such high value, so precious, so beyond what we could appreciate at first when we were just searching for Hell-fire insurance. For anyone to reject Your Son must be such a slap, or if someone tries to graft on their own dead works to treasure, must be downright rude.

Thank you for sending Your Son to die for us. And I thank You that He is no longer dead. He arose and smells great. You are Able to protect me from stumbling and make me stand in Your presence of Your glory, blameless and with great joy...with no regrets. In Jesus Name. Amen.


Bob said...

Good catch. I was merely reading "anointed" as meaning "appointed" (i.e., commissioned as the Messiah), but you're right. Jesus wasn't merely appointed to be our Savior, He was literally "anointed" for burial.

jennifer said...

I like, most especially the part about attatching our own dead works is rude!!! That is a great way to put that. I can be pretty unmannerly at times. This was a thought filled post - Jen

joyce said...

Thanks, Jennifer. So many times I have mistaken free gift for cheap. I read a story recently that expressed much better than I could how the free gift of salvation is beyond any price we can imagine.

ShalomSeeker said...

Lovely. Kinda brings new meaning to the II Corinthians 2:15-16, huh?

For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?

Because He accepted this anointing, we too bear His scent!

I just LOVE how the ALL of Scripture fits together! :-)

joyce said...

Dear J, (Shalomseeker) You are right ! Your comment brought to mind how Joseph insisted on a bath before meeting the king. Oh, we will be so clean in heaven home. Stainless and a pleasing aroma. And remember how the special recipe for the incense in the temple was not to be used for anything else? Maybe I'd better do a quickverse word search on smells. Love you, too !