The Alabaster Box

“And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on His head” (Mark 14:3).

This unusual incident is reported also by Matthew and John, who says the woman was Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus and Martha. John says that she also “anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment” (John 12:3).

This is a remarkable story of devotion and, as Jesus prophesied, “wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her” (Matthew 26:13). At present-day prices, the lovely container and its aromatic contents would be worth at least several hundred dollars. Yet Mary gladly broke her alabaster box (so it could never be used again) and poured its costly perfume over her Lord, from His head to His feet, thus anointing His whole body. Then, as the ointment ran down to His feet, she wiped them clean with her long hair.

The disciples were shocked at this seeming waste, but “Jesus said, Let her alone. . . . She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying” (Mark 14:6,8). Little did they know (still less did Mary know!) that in just one week His battered body would be laid in a grave, anointed with myrrh instead of spikenard, and wrapped in burial linens instead of Mary’s hair. But Jesus knew, and Mary had “done what she could” to show the reality of her love for her Lord. It had cost her dearly—not only in material possessions, but also in sacrifice of all pride and self-esteem, and the Lord was honored. “She hath wrought a good work upon me,” He said (Matthew 26:10), and that’s what counts. HMM

The Latest
TESTIMONIALS
A Firm Foundation
Hello, I’m Don Barber, Director of Enterprise Technology at ICR. After serving here in a variety of roles for many years, I’m so glad to...

NEWS
Data Leads to Correct Post-Flood Boundary
For decades, creation scientists have debated the level at which the Flood ended in the rock record. In the past, many have based their conclusions...

NEWS
More Problems with Iconic Milankovitch Paper
Secular scientists have a difficult time explaining an Ice Age, even though there is strong geological evidence that one occurred. In fact, creation...

NEWS
More Evidence Lucy Was Just an Ape
Certain evolutionary scientists have talked of Lucy since the 1970s as a supposed ape-like ancestor of humans. It’s probably the world’s...

NEWS
Sixtymile Formation Part of Genesis Flood
For many decades, creation scientists have included the Sixtymile Formation in Grand Canyon as part of the Sauk Megasequence that marks the onset of...