Scripture: Matthew 26:6-30 CSB
While Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman approached him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume. She poured it on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw it, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This might have been sold for a great deal and given to the poor.”
Aware of this, Jesus said to them,“Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a noble thing for me. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me. By pouring this perfume on my body, she has prepared me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they weighed out thirty pieces of silver for him. And from that time he started looking for a good opportunity to betray him.
On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
“Go into the city to a certain man,” he said, “and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time is near; I am celebrating the Passover at your place with my disciples.’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. When evening came, he was reclining at the table with the Twelve. While they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed, each one began to say to him, “Surely not I, Lord?”
He replied, “The one who dipped his hand with me in the bowl — he will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him if he had not been born.”
Judas, his betrayer, replied, “Surely not I, Rabbi?”
“You have said it,” he told him.
As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said,“Take and eat it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. But I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Devotion: Jesus is worth our sacrifice.
The story continued. Jesus paid a visit to the house of Simon the leper (I love this side note, since it showed a reminder for us of the Savior’s love for broken people). During the visit, a woman walked in and poured expensive perfume on His head as a sign of preparation. Indignant toward a perceived waste, the disciples mistakenly accused her of abusing a precious good.
As a teacher, Jesus used the scene as a moment of declaration. He was soon to go to the cross for the sins of humanity. Her gift was a moment of worship.
As you continue in the story, you will notice Judas agreeing for the job of betrayal.
For a price, Judas followed greed and gave up his loyalty to the Savior. The disciples gathered for one last supper before the arrest.
Can you imagine the emotions in that meal?
Can you imagine the pain our Savior must have felt?
He knew of His betrayer and still shared a meal with him. He did this all, because He knew there must be a final atonement for sin. This is amazing love. We will revisit the Last Supper tomorrow.
What do you bring to worship? Have you made any sacrifices in your life for the purpose of kingdom building?
The woman in this story gave up a very expensive perfume, because she was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for the Savior. We live in a world that daily prompts us for self-centered pursuits.
During this passion week, take time to examine what you give and bring in worship of the Savior. I’m not just speaking about finances, but really your entire life. He is worthy of any sacrifice we can make.
DAVE SNYDER (@DBoneSnyder) is the pastor at First Baptist Church of Pensacola. He holds an M.Div. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Southeastern Seminary. Dave has served churches in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.