Passion Week Wednesday: Perfume & A Kiss
Matthew 26. 12,13
By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.
Matthew 26. 48-50
Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him. At once he came up to Jesus and said, Greetings, Rabbi! and kissed him. Jesus said to him, Friend, do what you are here to do. Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.
Both the story of Mary’s anointing Jesus with perfume and of Judas’ betrayal are found in Matthew’s twenty-sixth chapter. Mary and Judas each prepared Jesus for burial. One preparation was made in lovingkindness. Another, in wretched self-service.
As Jesus approached Calvary hill, spikenard, the aura of Mary’s lavish love-gift, haunted the air around his body. A scent attached to a bold act of sacrificial love, adoration, and worship. A fragrant reminder of the importance of the task before Him. An essence which recalled the depth of love possible between a creature and its creator. An aroma pleasing to the Lord.
Judas’ kiss likely also lingered. That kiss, in the dress of loving friendship, in fact its exact foil, burning like an insult that lands too close to truth, may have held in Jesus’ mind. The bitter gall of friendship scorned.
As Jesus hung thinking, praying, dying, the perfume recalled the very best that a human can offer God; full throated, scream-yourself-hoarse, love in abandon. The lingering sting of His friend’s betrayal recalled the worst; repugnant, narcissistic misery. Between these points lay the full spectrum of humanity’s response to its Creator, from effervescent love through to complete dismissal. The all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth humbly and heroically stayed the course, made the way in full knowledge that some will rejoice and put off all the world’s gain for the sake of relation with him. And some will take all the best in order to deny Him.
Praise God for the full depth of His Humility, Mercy, and Love.