John 12:1-11 NIV
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.
We begin Holy Week with two readings about preparation for death. Mary anointing Jesus as a precursor to the anointing of a body after death. In less than a week, she and the other women will go to a tomb to anoint the dead Jesus. Yet then, no anointing is possible. They were in for a heck of a surprise that Sunday morning and an awakening of faith.
And then there is the story of others preparing a death. Some could not cope with the raising of Lazarus from the dead (See John 11). As an aside, if you want proof that Jesus performed miracles then look no further than our passage today - Jesus's enemies believed He did so. They knew Lazarus had been dead and was now alive. There is no doubt about it. Jesus is a miracle worker.
Come Holy Spirit and help me get ready for a momentous few days. How can I be prepared for next weekend, O Lord? May I experience a 'week of weeks' with Christ Jesus. Amen.