A large crowd had gathered in the little town of Bethany. Only a few days earlier the man named Lazarus had been returned to life by the Rabbi, Jesus. Everyone was talking about it and wanted to see the man who had done the deed and witness for themselves that Lazarus was actually alive.
A dinner in Jesus’ honor was being held for Him . Lazarus was among those reclining at the table as his sister, Martha served dinner. Lazarus’ other sister, Mary came to Jesus with a pint of a very expensive nard – a costly, fragrant oil – often used in burial. Mary let down her hair, which was something any respectable woman would not do. She took the oil and poured it on Jesus’ feet – an act of servitude. She then wiped the oil with her hair. This simple display of devotion was not only significant because of the humility with which Mary completed it, but the cost of the oil indicated that she knew that Jesus had come to die for everyone and was worthy of such an act.
Judas, Iscariot, being the keeper of the treasury, was appalled by this extravagant display. “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?” he asked. “It was worth a year’s wages.”
Judas was not really concerned for the poor. This man would betray Jesus in just a few days, by selling Him out to His enemies for the price of thirty pieces of silver. Judas had walked with Jesus, learned from Him, wondered about Him, but wasn’t sure about Him. Now he would turn Him over to the authorities for what the average Roman soldier earned in four months.
The cost of Mary’s anointment of her Savior and Judas’ act of betrayal – both came at a great price. Jesus’ suffering and ultimate death, came at a far greater cost. He carried the weight of our sin upon His back as he trudged up the hill to Golgotha. He was totally abandoned by His holy Father. As He cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me,” God could not bear to look upon him because He was covered with the sin of the world. The price He paid for our ransom is insurmountable.
His mother, Mary heard of this event and began to wonder about her own future and that of her Son. What did it all mean? All those early thoughts and words were being fulfilled as Jesus continued to minister to the world, but the hierarchy of the Sanhedrin was even now plotting His death as well as that of Lazarus.