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Day Seventeen

“Our Alabaster Flasks”

 

“And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the Leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard.  Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.”

Mk 14:3 NKJV

 

        This flask that Mary of Bethany broke to anoint Jesus for His burial was a product of worldly commerce.  It was earned as Mary plied her trade in the world – but as she surrendered her life to Him back in the city of Nain (Lk 7:37-50), both she and all that she possessed were committed into His Hands (specifically this costly ointment as well as all other things were brought into the Kingdom of God).  Thus, what was worldly became part of the kingdom and qualified to now anoint Him for His burial.  In truth, it is actually a picture of resurrection more than death, but to understand it we must look further.

        When Mary chose Jesus – she chose the better portion.  In surrendering to Him as Lord she was in fact choosing to renounce her own soulish existence and to now live for Him through His life in her.  This is what every Christian is called to – to in the spirit live out the resurrection life of Christ in place of our own lives.  Romans 6:13 describes it as yielding our bodily members and faculties to Christ as though we have been already raised with Him to new and perpetual life.  Verse 6:5 shows us that because of His death and our sharing of that death (by identifying with His death on the cross and losing our own soulish life), we share His resurrection by living a new life for Him now – through His Spirit in us.

        The alabaster flask was costly and broken, to be poured out for Him.  You and I are also costly clay flasks that are broken for Him and His service when we find Him as Lord and Savior of our lives.  To lose our lives for Him (to essentially lose sight of ourselves and our will, intellect, and emotions – our soul) is the call of the higher life in Christ.  Not only is this often ignored in Christian teaching today, but it is often put aside completely.  Thus we have much of the Body of Christ living and looking like the world instead of Christ.

        This, however, is not the true destiny of believers.  We are called to be a fragrance – an aroma which seems to be wafting from death to death, but is truly a sweet fragrance of Christ which ascends to God.  To those who are perishing (unsaved) we are the aroma of death, but to those who are being saved we are the aroma of life, a vital fragrance, living and fresh! (2Cor 2:15-16)  It is because in sharing His death we receive His life – a fragrance that is most pleasing to God!

        Be blessed, be that fragrance, and be-loved today!

 

(For more on this topic –check out the Essay: “The Memorial: A Case for Mary of Bethany” also at this blog.)

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