Lessons Of A Lifetime

Anointed For Burial
Within A Week Of Death
Sunday June 5, 2022

Scripture To Consider:
“And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, ‘What do you think, that He [Jesus] will not come to the feast?’ Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He [Jesus] was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.”

“Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.”

“But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Jesus, said, ‘Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’ This he said not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was in it. But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.’

“Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, who Jesus had raised from the dead. But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.” John 11.55-12.11

Something To Consider:
Jesus was willing to lay down His life as the Lamb of God, who was to be led away to the slaughter for the sins of others. But that earth shaking event would be on His terms and according to His Father’s timing. And so, the plans of the chief priests and the Pharisees to seize Jesus did not come to pass, at least not on that particular day.

Yes, Jesus was anointed for His burial that day. And yes, He was within a week of His death. What would we do different if we were suddenly made aware of the timing of our death? What if that prognosis actually was heard and verified by a trust-worthy physician concerning our own death? Would it change the way we live?

Would the news of impending death within a week, a month, or a year, change our daily perspective of life? Would the way we approach every new mercy filled morning change? Would we lovingly treat others differently? Or would our desire to be in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ rule the day?

Something Else To Consider:
Jesus was well aware of the shortness of time that He had to complete His Father’s heavenly business upon earth. As He was within a week of His death for all of humankind, He visited the home of dear friends and spiritual supporters. While there Martha prepared a meal for Him and Mary prepared His body for burial by anointing Him with expensive and fragrant oil.

Oil in the bible is often representative of the Holy Spirit. We are told that the fragrance filled the house. Does the fragrance of the Holy Spirit fill our hearts, our homes, our families, and our places of work, school, and play? If not, the Holy Spirit is only a prayer away, and someone we desperately need in these end times.

The apostle Peter wrote in his first epistle, in chapter 5 and verse 8; “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary [enemy] the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” The enemy of our souls is seeking to steal our relationship with Jesus. The enemy is seeking to kill us and put an end to our being a witness for Christ. The enemy is seeking to destroy us if all else fails. But greater is He, God, who is in us than he who is in the world!

And yet, as a true child of God, our death is not only precious in the sight of God, but our death is also in God’s timing, and according to the will of God. Therefore, until our death, or until the Lord’s return, let us be about our Father’s business of honoring Him while enduring to the end of whatever in these days of abounding lawlessness!

Something More To Consider:
Judas Iscariot showed his true colors by falsely suggesting he cared for the poor. But Jesus came to the defense of Mary by saying. “Let her alone; she has kept this [the costly ointment] for the day of My burial.” Had Mary sensed the urgency of what would later be known as His final visit to their home?

Were Mary and Jesus the only ones aware that Jesus was indeed within a week of His sacrificial atoning death on a cross? The Psalmist and king, David, asked of the Lord in Psalm 39.4; “LORD, make me to know my end [death]. And what is the measure [or length] of my days [life].”

David was going through a difficult time in his life when he prayed that prayer. I do not know if God ever answered David’s prayer. But in chapter 40 David acknowledged; “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined [listened] to me, and heard my cry.” And God did deliver David from his trouble!

A Few Final Words:
What is it that we would do differently if we were within a week of our own death? Have we been spiritually anointed for our burial by being born-again and forgiven of our sins? According to Hebrews 9.27; “It is appointed [destined] unto men [women and young people] once to die, but after death comes the judgment.” Are we truly ready?

Lazarus being raised from the dead was the opening act of a world impacting non-fiction real life drama. And within one event filled week, the main attraction of all eternity would take center stage on a hill called Calvary for all the world to witness.

Someone has written, “Have we today taken up our own cross? Have we today, realized all it cost? Have we today, denied ourselves? Have we today, received His divine redeeming help?” From God’s perspective, the second coming or return of Jesus Christ is certainly within a week. Can we honestly claim that we are ready? Can we testify that our loved ones are ready for the coming judgment?

According to the written and preserved record of John the beloved; “Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.” Have we experienced our very own resurrection from spiritual death? If not, why not?

Our Father in heaven, teach us Lord to sense those spiritual moments that only come once, and call for our seizing the moment as did Mary. May You create in us an end time seriousness that is according to the teachings of Jesus. In Him Always, Amen!

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