Luke 7:36-38 Mary of Bethany
Esth 1:6 “In the King’s Palace….There were white and blue linen curtains fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars; and the couches were of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of alabaster, turquoise and white and black marble”.
She heard of Him on the streets, but how could she get to Him? No-one would let her, a town harlot, close to such a man. She looked at herself in the mirror. What a mess. Who would receive her? But this was not an option. She had to find a way. He was the only One who could save her.
I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve looked in that same mirror. I’ve witnessed that same face gazing back at me; searching for someone or something to fill the void. I spent years running away from God. Though there were circumstances that led me to that point, I also knew it wasn’t what I wanted or needed. One day, I had enough and I turned back to the One who loved me most. It wasn’t easy to break away from that lifestyle and I grieved the friends and family I left behind, nevertheless there was imminent death in staying. CeCe Winans says, “You don’t know the cost of the oil in my Alabaster Box.” I beat myself up for wasting all those years…but Jesus was waiting with open arms and forgiveness. That image in the mirror was altered that very day.
Mary knew if she could just get to where Jesus was she could turn her life around. She gathered her cloak around her and grabbed her Alabaster Box. Night after night she poured her worth into that incredibly beautiful vessel. It was valued at a year’s wages, yet it would be worth it to know freedom from this pain; to be of significance to someone. Mary of Bethany ran to the home of the Pharisee where she heard He was having dinner. She stopped, taking a deep breath. Fear gripped her. She stood at the entrance until she got the strength to burst in, race across the room and fall at His feet. Shame flushed her face as she heard the whispers around her and humbled, she lowered her head to pour out everything she had from her treasured box. Her tears rained down as she kissed His feet and dried them with her hair. His affection wrapped around her as He forgave her and bid her to go in peace. She raised up to see eyes that burned with joy at her sacrifice and she turned to leave…a life transformed. Her empty jar filled once again; this time with hope, faith and love.