The Marvelous Mary’s
The liberated women of Easter week.
- “A Beautiful Thing…In Memory of Her”
The city is swollen with a hundred thousand pilgrims for the annual celebration. Colors are bright, the shouts and singing exuberant, the palm branches waiving ferociously, all accompanied by the patter of little children. The Twelve can hardly contain their excitement, laughing and crying out, “Make way! Make way for the King!” Jesus of Nazareth is finally announcing his reign. The crowd is singing the Passover Psalms.
“I’d like to get my hands on one of those sisters; I bet I could make her sing like a bird!” the ruffian growls. Laughing, the Pharisee tells him to keep his voice down. “It’s all being planned. Witnesses are being found who will deny that this fellow ever “raised” Lazarus from the dead.” But a young man hears and innocently, excitedly, exclaims, “I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I hadn’t been there! I tell you! Lazarus drew his last breath a full four days begore the Nazarene ever arrived!” He is shoved from behind and engulfed by the masses.
I step back into the shadows, my head covered as usual, head bent…because I could not emulate their joy. But now I reach for more of the cloth. I knew something was wrong, but now I fear even more.
With the familiar side bend of his bronzed face, hair blowing in the breeze, he looks back over his shoulder as the road curves, and I glimpse his face, and I know. My breath catches, sick dread clutches my heart; there is going to be great pain ahead.
Pulling the scarf over my face, its scent floods my nostrils, and wafts over me. I almost stagger with the power of the memory, but I smile again as if I’m in that crowded celebration, just a few days ago… Suddenly, they become quiet when they hear me break the alabaster jar. The pure nard emanates throughout the room with over-powering honeysuckle, lavender, and muskroot. “Truly heavenly,” Martha quips sarcastically. I’m pleased she’s not really angry. She’s finally learned not to question the Lord when it comes to my walk with Him.
Pouring the perfumed oil over Jesus’ head and then wiping the ointment on his feet with my hair, tearfully and gratefully — over one pound, a year’s wages. Like only a few of the others, I understand when He calls Himself our groom. He is my Divine Love. Could any gift be too much? He gave me back my life and …much more. I am overcome with the love and complete acceptance of his friendship and the freedom and forgiveness his lordship brings.
I can’t say I yet know exactly what will be, but HE did tell us clearly that at Passover he will be handed over for crucifixion. Yet, that day, they continued celebrating — he had resurrected my brother from the grave. Yes, I’m grateful and stunned, but, oh, Yahweh, did they not hear him?? His reference to death — some say it’s just a parable or allegory. But he has said these things many times, and his mother who is also a disciple, she knows. For over 34 years, she’s known.
Some disciples were indignant at the waste, but I will never forget his words,
“Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me… When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth! Wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
(Matthew 26:10,12,13. Mark 14:3–9. John 12:1–7)