Thus far on our walk with God through difficult days, we have focused on the heavenly side of our earthly troubles. We have looked at some of the reasons God allows difficulty into our lives. We have seen that…
God allows times of trouble and trial in our lives…
God’s Goals in Our Difficulty:
Before we take the next steps in our walk with the Lord, let´s be sure we have profited from where we have walked thus far. You know, it is possible to walk a path and not remember a single thing you saw as you walked!
I hate to admit that seminary was much like that for me – not entirely, but far too much. My days in seminary, while enjoyable in many respects, were busier than I should have allowed them to be. At one point in my seminary career, I was a full-time student, an associate pastor/student minister (preaching an early service weekly, leading children´s church weekly, and leading a youth ministry), a part-time math teacher in a private school (five afternoons a week), and a husband.
Something had to slide, and I allowed seminary to be that something. I still made good grades, because I could cram really well. But I was taught a lot that I didn't learn long term. I walked the path, but there was a lot I couldn't remember seeing a year later!
Have you ever done that? Probably. Most have, sometime.
I am pausing here as much for me as for you. Let´s not do that with discovering what God is doing in us and around us in putting much of the world on pause with the Coronavirus.
Would you go back to the list of six reasons the Scriptures show us that God allows these times of trouble into our life, and see if you can identify at least two reasons why God is allowing you to be a part of this pandemic?
Then would you examine the seven goals we identified from God´s Word that God often has for us in times of difficulty? Again, see if you can find at least two.
I did both of those things I just asked you to do. I could identify with four reasons and five goals. If you have not reviewed those things and picked out the ones that seem to apply to your life, stop reading right now! Back up two paragraphs and walk the path again.
Monday, we are going to see what to do with the things God has shown us as we walked with Him through these difficult days. So, don´t let Monday arrive and say, “I don´t remember!”
By the way, tomorrow in our online worship, I will be telling you about a woman who discovered the faithfulness of God for herself and her family, even though she had no right or reason to expect it.
When do I pray the most? I confess. I pray the most when there is trouble.
So, since the Lord knows we are like this, if He wants to move us to prayer, or to move us to pray more, He can allow more trouble to filter through to our lives, causing us to fall to our knees before Him.
I think there are a lot of applications of this reality that could be made here, but I am just going to offer one that is the seventh goal God has for us in times of trouble.
God desires that we should pray for those in authority over us.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 NKJV 1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
Paul adds in Romans
Romans 13:1 NKJV Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
God, who is the ultimate authority, appoints men and women as authorities to restrain evil and do good to those placed under their authority. But all of the people appointed by God to various positions of authority are still human; they are still sinners, as are we all.
God says pray for them! Our living a godly life in peaceful surroundings is dependent on their doing a good job, so we ought to pray for God to give them wisdom and strength that they might do God´s bidding.
God has placed numerous authorities in each of our lives. There are several types of authority.
During this battle with the Coronavirus, we have all been made aware of the importance of our governmental authorities and other authorities and the importance of the decisions they make in our individual lives.
Put names in place of the categories of authorities above to be sure all of those people are regularly on your prayer list. I hope we will remember to pray for them when the impact of their lives and decisions on our own is not as apparent as it is right now.
Adversity certainly moves us to pray for all of them!
If I had written about God´s goals in our difficulty, just out of my own reasoning and not using Scripture and biblical examples as a guide, I would have never thought of this one. But having seen this example in God´s Word, I recall that I have experienced the same thing several times in my life.
Goal # 6 TO SIFT OUR FRIENDSHIPS
That´s right. Sometimes God allows adversity into our life to help us and/or motivate us to pick and keep the right friends! Here are a few principles laid out in Scripture to guide our choice of close relationships.
David had a good friend in Jonathan, the son of Saul. Even when Jonathan´s own father was trying to kill David, Jonathan was a faithful friend.
In both of these cases, the quality of a friendship was revealed during troublesome times.
Proverbs 17:17 NKJV A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
You have probably experienced this as many times as I have. Many years ago, in another church (so you are not trying to figure out who), I had two Christian brothers that I called friends, call them Bob and Joe. A third brother in the Lord said to me one day, “Bro. Mike, Joe is trying to undermine your ministry behind your back.” I said to him, “Brother I appreciate your trying to help me, but I am confident you are mistaken. You have just misunderstood something. Joe wouldn't do that.”
I went to Joe and told him what was said and told him that I had defended him. Joe thanked me, and told me that I was correct. He had not undermined me and that he would never do that. I felt good about my friendship with Joe.
A year or two later when I was going through a time of great personal adversity, Joe betrayed me. This time written evidence revealed clearly what he had done. There was no question; and when confronted, Joe admitted it this time. Interestingly, during the course of dealing with this, new evidence surfaced that showed me that what I had been told previously, really was true.
The first time, I was fooled. God showed me the truth in a period of adversity.
And what about my other friend, Bob? He remained a true and loyal friend. And in the time of trouble, he stuck closer than a brother.
Learning that someone you count as a friend is not really your friend is a bitter pill to swallow. But the sooner we learn the truth, the less will be consequences and pain. Learning that a friend will stick by you, even in difficult times, encourages the soul and makes glad the heart!
God sometimes allows adversity to reveal the truth about our friendships.
No doubt the hallmark of a Christian is love. Jesus said,
John 13:34–35 NKJV 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Understanding that important truth, however, does not answer the question raised in the title, “Is it ever right to hate?” I think a lot of Christians might be surprised by the biblical answer.
Yes, at times it is right to hate! Consider these words of wisdom from the Spirit:
Proverbs 1:7 NKJV The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 8:13 NKJV The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.
Follow the logic of the above verses of Scripture.
The beginning of knowledge is to fear the Lord.
Proverbs 8:13 says that a proper awe of God leads a person to hate evil.
Then God mentions some evil things He hates: pride, arrogance, walking the evil path, and talking perversely.
The essence of these truths is that God wants us to love all that He loves and to hate those things He hates. He wants our affections to be identical to His.
What has that to do with God´s goals in our difficulty? It leads us to the fifth goal that God sometimes has for sending adversity or allowing us to go through it.
TO BUILD A HATRED FOR EVIL
Times of difficulty have a way of clarifying things. Our vision is less obscured by the busyness of things. We take more time to think through decisions. We are less susceptible to many enticements.
2 Peter 3:9 NKJV The Lord is … not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
God´s attitude toward the evil doer is not hatred, but love that desires that the sinner repent. Praise God for this because God loved us when we were nothing but sinners! So, if we grow to share the affections of God, we will not hate sinners but desire their salvation.
All of our sin, even in the life of a Christian, produces a cost to ourselves and others, even though we are forgiven.
Sometimes God´s goal in allowing us to walk a difficult road is to give us time for fresh consideration, contemplation, and self-examination – all aimed at helping us love that which He loves and hating that which He hates.
Before I interrupted our train of thought in these blogs by writing about Holy Week, we were considering God´s goals during this time of difficulty in our lives. I had identified three goals God often has for people walking through times of trial.
TO GIVE US VICTORY IN THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE by motivating us to put on the armor of God and to pray. (blog for 4/1)
TO PURIFY OUR FAITH that the genuineness of our faith will glorify Him. (blog for 4/2)
TO SIGNAL US TO REEVALUATE OUR PRIORITIES and thereby make us successful in His work. (blog for 4/3)
There are four more, so I will tell you about these through the rest of the week.
Goal # 4 TO TEST OUR WORK
One of the benefits of hard times is that it shows us that many things in this world are built on sand.
I already told you that I never was an athletic wonder! Now there was a day that I was slim and had a bit more athletic appearance than I do now, but even then I was never first pick on any ball team.
However, in Junior High, I ran track for one year. Then I switched to debate because I found out I would rather run my mouth than my legs. But that one year of track taught me something.
It taught me that you do not win races at the track meet. You win races in practice and with the warm up. At the meet you just claim the victory for which you have paid the price previously. I learned how important warm-up exercises are. Stretching exercises were often painful, but they were absolutely essential to preparing the body for the race ahead. No good warm-up; no good race.
Folks, life is a warm-up. It is a warm-up for eternity. It lasts for seconds compared to a lifetime, a minute compared to a century.
If I said to you, just do what I tell you for 15 seconds and the rest of your life will be glorious beyond description, you would do it.
God essentially says that if we
How’s your warm-up going?
On Sundays, through these days of crisis in our nation and the world, I am leading us to Feast on the Faithfulness of God, through which we remember some of the hundreds of accounts of God´s faithfulness in the Scriptures.
Maybe our taking a week to consider the days of Holy Week seemed an interruption in our focus on God´s faithfulness, but it wasn´t. Really everything that happened during that culminating week of the earthly life and ministry of our Lord was a testimony to the faithfulness of God.
These blogs are short, at least for me. I cannot hardly exegete a single verse in less than a page. But even with my blogs running about a page and a half if printed out, I could not begin to list all the promises God made in the Old Testament that were fulfilled in Jesus´ life just during Holy Week.
So, let´s conclude our consideration of Holy Week with a re-inauguration of Feasting on the Faithfulness of God that will help us walk with Him through difficult days! This will not so much be me writing for you to read. This will be you reading and doing.
I want us to take a chapter of Isaiah, and as you read through it, either mark with a pen, or at least make a mental count, of phrases in the chapter that you know were fulfilled by Jesus during the week leading to the cross and resurrection.
Do that, and then read my brief conclusion.
Isaiah 53 NKJV
1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
How many did you find? I identified 32. You may have found even more. Even if you found a lot less, there´s still a lot, isn´t there? And this is one chapter of the Old Testament, just twelve verses.
My friend, see here the faithfulness of God. See to what lengths God will go to keep His Word.
When things get rough and then rougher, remember that your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ loves you and is ever faithful to you. Whatever comes, even death, He will get you through!
I love you, and I pray for you.
Most believers are familiar with the main events of Holy Week, although they may not know on which particular day each event took place. However, if you ask a fellow Christian, “What did Jesus do on Saturday?” many will confess they do not know.
Some will guess, “Jesus rested in the tomb. After all, it was the Sabbath day.” Well, they would be correct if they are talking about the physical body of Jesus. His body lay in the tomb from late Friday afternoon to sometime Sunday morning.
But that is not where the Jesus we know and love was. Just as if someone asks about one of your deceased loved ones, one whom you knew was saved, and not knowing that they died a year or so ago, they ask, “Where is she?” You would not say, “Oh, she is in the grave at the cemetery in our hometown.” No! You would say, “Oh, she is in heaven! She died in January a year ago.”
On Saturday, the body, the “tent” in which Jesus lived for 33 years upon this earth was in the tomb. But when Jesus died, His soul and spirt left His body. That is what death is. That is why the Scripture says, “Bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30)
So, I ask again, more technically this time, “Where did the soul and spirit of Jesus go when He died?” With the question put like that, some may say, “To Heaven, just like we believers do when we die! ´Absent from the body, present with the Lord.´”
Nope! Not yet! Sunday morning Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and …
Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ” John 20:17 NKJV
Since as of Sunday morning, Jesus had not ascended back to the Father (He would go later that day), where was He on Saturday? Where were the soul and spirit of Jesus on Saturday?
And now many, many people are saying, “We don´t know.”
But we do! The Holy Spirit told us through Peter in his first letter.
1 Peter 3:18-20 NKJV 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine long suffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
The spirit and soul of Jesus went to Paradise, that portion of Sheol (the place of the dead) to which all Old Testament believers went awaiting the completion of the work Christ did upon the cross on Holy Friday. Remember how Jesus told the repentant thief, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) So when Jesus and the thief died, the soul and spirit of each of them went to Paradise, where they rejoiced in the presence of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Joseph, Judah, Rahab, Ruth, David, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and a host of others who trusted in Messiah before He ever came to the earth.
What a celebration they must have had. What a glorious time of worship and praise must have rocked that place of comfort and waiting where so many of them had been for centuries, longing for this moment to come! No wonder Jesus was there in the spirit for at least a part of three days, Friday from 3 p.m. to sunset, Saturday all day, and Sunday until sometime before sunrise (or should we say Sonrise?), when the spirit and soul of the Lord Jesus returned to His mutilated body and by the power of God raised it from the dead – now a glorious, resurrection body!
But let me back up, because Peter tells us of something else Jesus did while He was in Sheol. Sheol was made of three parts: Paradise for believers, Hell for unbelievers, and a Great Gulf between the two (Luke 16:26). At the bottom of the Great Gulf was the abyss, which was, and still is, a prison house for the fallen angels who sinned grievously against God in the days before the Great Flood (Genesis 6:1-2).
Peter tells us that Jesus preached, literally proclaimed, to these disobedient spirits in prison. I believe Jesus announced what they and the spirits of men and women in hell dreaded to hear – that God had been faithful to keep His promise. He, Jesus, was indeed the Messiah, and He had once and for all paid the penalty for the sins of mankind. To those in hell, this was not an invitation to believe or a second chance. As Jesus had said to Nicodemus, those who did not believe were “condemn already.” (John 3:18) All of those who had believed in Him, even before He came to the earth, He would now lead out of Paradise and take them to His home in heaven.
This is why Matthew tells us that after Jesus rose, many of the saints were seen walking the streets of Jerusalem. (Matthew 27:52) Jesus must have given them an hour or two after leading them from Paradise on Sunday morning before taking them with Him to heaven, where He would offer His blood to the Father to make a propitiation for our sins! (Hebrews 2:17, 9:12)
My, my, my! What a Saturday!
If we count the beginning of Friday in Jewish style, GOOD Friday, began at sunset of what we call Thursday and ran until sunset the next day. During that 24 hours, the Son of God was betrayed by one of His closest followers, illegally tried, and physically abused in two councils of Jewish priests and elders, falsely accused of treason before a Roman governor, found innocent of the charge but nonetheless flogged (nearly to the point of death) to try to placate the leaders of the Jews, mercilessly nailed through wrists and feet to a rough-hewn cross, and left to hang there for six hours, struggling for every breath, until at last, He died.
How can that be called GOOD?
But both words and the concepts they describe do change over the centuries. Many hundreds of years ago, the word translated GOOD meant HOLY in what the world calls the Romance Languages. When they called this day GOOD FRIDAY, they were labeling it HOLY Friday, and indeed, it was.
HOLY Friday was the day appointed before time began in the council of the Trinity.
HOLY Friday was the reason the Son of God departed Heaven.
HOLY Friday was the reason our Lord was born of a virgin.
HOLY Friday was why the angel said to call His name Jesus.
HOLY Friday was why Simeon and Anna rejoiced when they saw the baby.
HOLY Friday was why Satan stirred Herod to try to kill Jesus as a toddler.
HOLY Friday was why John the Baptist called Him the Lamb of God.
HOLY Friday was what Jesus foretold when He said the Son of Man must be lifted up.
HOLY Friday was what Christ was thinking about when He said, “For God so loved …”
HOLY Friday was the culmination of all Jesus said and did.
HOLY Friday is the only thing that makes holiness possible in our world today.
For on HOLY Friday, God the Father gathered the sin of the world across time and placed that sin upon His One and Only Son. On HOLY Friday, Jesus suffered and ultimately died, paying the penalty for the sins of each and every one of us.
I am taking time today to think about the sins across the years of my life. I know they are forgiven. I know the Lord remembers them no more. But I want to remember, briefly, so that I can remember what it took for them to be forgiven and removed from my account.
So I am going to think some about the sins of my childhood, many before I even trusted the Lord, and others after. I am going to recall the ways I strayed during my teen years, and especially my waywardness in college. I plan to recall the iniquities during the young adult time of life, the sins of selfishness through the median adult years. I plan to think about the temptations that beckon me even as a senior adult. Whew, so many years, each accumulating a multitude of sins, far more than I will ever be able to remember.
But I want to consider this all I can to help me to more deeply and genuinely thank Jesus for what He did for me on that HOLY day nearly two thousand years ago. The shedding of His blood was required to wipe my slate clean, to wash away my sin.
Oh precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Hebrews 9:22 NKJV And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Hebrews 9:11–14 NKJV 11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Join me for worship tonight at 7 p.m. on the St. Andrew Baptist Church Facebook page or at sabc.org.
There is no question that the entire week before Jesus died that His mind was focused upon the cross. When Mary anointed Him in that beautiful act of love and worship on Wednesday, Jesus said that she was already preparing His body for burial.
Now on Thursday, His disciples had already come to Him and asked where they should make preparation to eat the Passover meal. This Passover would be the last Passover His disciples would eat. That night, as He would eat the meal that celebrated God’s redemption, Jesus would give it a whole new meaning; and the new meal and the new meaning would all center on the cross. (Mt. 26:17-30)
The Passover was a meal given to the Jews to help them remember God´s redemption of them from their bondage in slavery in Egypt. On the typical table set for Passover were many items, including unleavened bread, four cups of grape juice (probably also unleavened), a bowl of paste called charosheth (a mixture of mashed dates, apples, pomegranates, and nuts that pictured the clay used by the Hebrew slaves to make bricks for Pharaoh), a plate of bitter herbs to remind them of the bitterness of their slavery, and a bowl of salt water as a remembrance of their tears.
The most important item on the table though was the roasted lamb. The lamb reminded them of the lamb slain by each family, the blood of which was smeared upon the doorposts and lintels of their homes, so that when death descended upon all the firstborn dwelling in the land of Egypt, it would pass over those who were covered by the blood.
Of all the ingredients available from the Passover Meal, Jesus chose only two to use in the meal He would institute as a meal to help believers remember how He redeemed them from bondage to sin: the unleavened bread, a cup of grape juice.
WHY THE BREAD?
WHY THE CUP?
WHY NOT THE LAMB?
But the Lamb of God only needed to be sacrificed one time.
Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”
I do not know of any single worship service that has ever been more meaningful to me as a follower of Christ or as a pastor than when we celebrate The Lord´s Supper. I look forward to that time that we are re-gathered as a church to worship the Lord. Soon after we are able to meet together again, we will eat this supper together as a church, and we will remember the Lord Jesus until He comes again.
It was Wednesday of Holy Week, two days before Jesus’ death upon the cross. Tuesday night, the Savior left the bustling city of Jerusalem to spend the night in Bethany, the hometown of Lazarus whom He raised from the dead and Lazarus’ two sisters Mary and Martha. I call Wednesday “The Day the Son Stood Still.” (Jn.12:1-6)
It was the only day that Jesus did not venture forth into Jerusalem. The only thing recorded in any of the four gospels that Jesus did was to eat a meal in the home of Simon the Leper, with his friend Lazarus, joining Him for dinner.
While Jesus was eating, Mary, slipped quietly into the room. She carried an alabaster container containing a full pound of very precious perfumed ointment. It would have cost nearly a year’s wages for the average person. Without question, it was Mary’s most precious possession. Mary had probably used some of the ointment before, on special occasions, certainly some to anoint the dead body of her brother Lazarus; but there was still enough here to last the rest of her life.
No one noticed her movement across the room or what was in her hands. Martha was busy serving the table, and Jesus and the disciples were absorbed in conversation. Mary eased up behind the Savior and with a simple motion broke open the box and poured the entirety of its precious contents over the head of her Lord. Immediately the room was hushed, and all eyes focused upon her and Jesus. The whole house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment and with the testimony of Mary’s extravagant love.
But Mary was not finished with her act of worship. She moved silently down to Jesus’ feet, and with the ointment that had clung to her hands as she anointed the Master’s head, she anointed His feet as well. Then, in an act of self-denial and humiliation, she loosed her hair that was always tightly bound upon her head, for no self-respecting Jewish woman would let her hair down before the men of a city. Mary let her hair fall to her waist and then threw it over her shoulders and wiped the excess ointment off of the feet of her Lord.
I am convinced that Mary’s worship was motivated not only by what Jesus had already done for Lazarus, but by what she understood Jesus was about to do. He was going to the cross, and He was going there for her. She had sat at His feet before and heard Him teach, and she understood. He was going to die upon that cross and pay the penalty for her sin. As she thought about His sacrifice, no gift she could offer was precious enough to express the gratitude of her soul. Worshipping Him in genuineness and humility, offering the best she had, was all she knew to do to express the love and devotion of her heart.
This beautiful act of worship shows us the extravagance of genuine love. We all recognize the difference between giving out of obligation and giving out of love. When we are obliged to give, we ask, “How little can I spend and still do what is considered acceptable?” But giving out of genuine love is very different. As William Barclay says, “Love never calculates; love never thinks how little it can decently give; love’s one desire is to give to the uttermost limits; and, when it has given all it has to give, it still thinks the gift too little.”
And you might be saying, “Pastor, don’t you wish people gave like that today?” But I tell you, “No! I wish people loved like that today. Then the giving would take care of itself.”
You see, our problem is not resources we have or lack at any particular time. The Lord taught that our giving is to be proportional. If we have very few resources, like the widow who gave two pennies, God considers the little we give to be large.
Crises like we are experiencing now expose what and who we love the most. We protect what and who we love. We provide for what and who we love, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. It is tempting hold back, not out of lack of resources, but out of fear we will not have enough.
That is one of the reasons that Jesus said that Mary’s act would be remembered as a memorial to her as long as the gospel was preached. Her extravagant act was motivated solely out of love, contrary to common sense, contrary to popular opinion, contrary to custom – just love, and still her love could not match the love that Jesus had for her. Nor could her gift match His gift.
Forty-eight hours before He went to the cross, Jesus took nearly a full day and stood still. I wonder if we might not should take at least a few minutes and consider the love and adoration Mary demonstrated to her Lord in light of our own.