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Lent Day 37: Holy Wednesday

On Holy Wednesday two significant events took place: Jesus was anointed with costly perfume and Judas made his decision to betray Jesus. It appears from the text in Mark 14 that this extravagant anointing is what led Judas to begin his plot of betrayal. Jesus’ response to His annointing caused Judas to believe that he had lost control of his section of the ministry, the overseer of the ministry funds. Judas couldn’t imagine going forward with Jesus after he saw His response to this misuse of funds.

4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages[a] and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. 6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you,[b] and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 14:4-9)

Why in the world did Jesus say that this woman’s anointing would be spoken of wherever the Gospel is preached? That is quite a statement! I believe Jesus gives the answer when he says, “She has done what she could…” Mary Magdalene surrendered everything that day. She gave up her pride, had no consideration of what other people thought about her actions, and was singularly focused on honoring Jesus. She had to know that she would be ridiculed for this wild extravagance. She didn’t care though. She had been delivered from seven demons, seen her brother Lazarus raised from the dead, and she couldn’t help but respond with gratitude to Jesus’ graciousness to her and her family.

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