12 Mar What is in Your Box?
As we continue to reflect on the women in the Easter story, this post will focus on the woman with the alabaster box (Matt 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9). After all, Jesus Himself clearly reserved a special place of distinction for her when He said “wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her (Matt 26:13).”
If you will recall, Jesus was at dinner with His disciples at the house of Simon the leper in Bethany. A woman entered with an alabaster box that contained an expensive perfume. She walked up to Jesus and proceeded to pour it over His head. The disciples were angry stating that she had wasted the perfume and could have sold it to provide for the poor. Jesus, on the other hand, felt that she had done a good thing. He told them that they would always have the poor with them but they would not always have Him.
Although I have read these passages several times over the years, rarely have I thought about them as part of the Easter story. This happened right before Judas went to the chief priests to negotiate a deal to turn over Jesus. Judas actually left this particular gathering to meet with the chief priests. So what may have appeared to be a mere act of admiration turned out to be a subtle transition into the next and final stages of Jesus’ ministry – His death and resurrection. In fact, Jesus told the disciples that her anointing of Him was preparing Him for His burial.
We do not know what led this woman to perform this particular act. She could have been driven by shame or guilt over something from her past. Maybe she was moved by her love for Jesus. Perhaps, God led her there for the distinct purpose of anointing His Son and preparing Him for what was to come. Whatever the case, Jesus appreciated this woman’s attention and sacrifice. He knew that she was exactly where she was supposed to be, doing exactly what she was supposed to be doing, at the appointed time.
The woman with the alabaster box could have decided that the expense was too great and kept the perfume for herself, but she chose to graciously sacrifice it all for Him. She could have been intimidated by the glares and snide comments made by the disciples, but she pressed forward. She may not have even completely understood or known why she was there at all, but she didn’t turn back.
Like this woman, we each possess a precious, valuable gift. We may not have it stored in a physical box but it has been boxed up and hidden away in our fears, insecurities and self-doubt. Maybe you have been called to start a business or to start a ministry. Maybe you have been called to donate a large amount to charity or to speak out for a particular cause. Whatever God is leading you to do, know that you are moving in your divine purpose and that this is your appointed time. During this season of Lent, take some time to reflect on what is in your box and make a prayerful choice to take it to Jesus and pour it all on Him.