Posted in Lent devotions

Do you smell that?

“Scenes from the passion” Lent devotion for Friday, February 19, 2021. Photo by Richárd Ecsedi on Unsplash

While [Jesus] was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at supper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of ointment, a very costly spikenard. She broke the jar and poured the ointment on His head.

There were some with indignation within themselves, saying, “Why was this ointment wasted? It might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they grumbled against her.

Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. You always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish, you may do good to them. But you will not always have Me. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel will be preached throughout the whole world, what she has done will also be spoken of as a memorial to her” (Mark 14:3-9).

Yes, you can buy spikenard oil – from Amazon, of course. Depending on how much you want or need, it will only set you back thirty or forty dollars. In Jesus’ time, however, the jar was worth three hundred denarii, or three hundred days’ wages. Let’s do the math. If we allow for a $15 per hour minimum wage, and an eight hour day, times three hundred days, that totals $36,000! This was an extravagant moment! I would compare it to drinking an expensive bottle of old scotch you’ve saved for a special occasion. Or a once in a lifetime meal at a very exclusive and expensive restaurant. It seems to be that kind of special moment.

Continue reading “Do you smell that?”