“When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.” ~ Matthew 26:12

While Jesus was having a meal at Bethany near Jerusalem, a woman performed an act of extravagance. She poured a jar of expensive perfume on Jesus’ head. His disciples reacted by scolding her for wasting something so expensive.


So often we read passages like this and it’s obvious that the disciples’ reaction was wrong. That perfume could have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor. As much as we hate to admit it, though, we probably would have reacted like the disciples, who were probably just trying to sensible.


What the woman sensed, and Jesus knew, was that these were not sensible times. While there would always be opportunities for charity and good deeds, Jesus would only be with them in the flesh for a few short days. The woman’s act was fitting for the times.

By pouring the perfume on Jesus, she was anointing him as king. Even more than that, she was preparing him for burial. Of course, since he would be raised from the dead, he wouldn’t need a burial. The woman’s act was perfect because she wasn’t embalming a dead body – she was anointing a living king.


Jesus said that as long as his story was told, the woman’s act would be remembered. In a sense, this scene acted as Jesus’ memorial service. May we always remember that Jesus died for us, and respond by living for him.


Just as the woman poured out the perfume for Jesus, he would pour out his blood for all of us. May we respond by pouring out our worship of our risen, living King.

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