The Alabaster Box | The Institute for Creation Research
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
NEWS
Denisovan Epigenetics Reveals Human Anatomy
A recent study making the news involves the reconstruction of the facial features and anatomy of the enigmatic humans known as the Denisovan from genetic...

NEWS
New Estimate: Universe Two Billion Years Younger
Big Bang scientists recently used a new method to estimate the universe’s age. This method yields an age estimate that could be over two billion...

NEWS
Pain-Sensing Organ Shows Engineering Principles
New human organs are rarely discovered, but that’s what several astute scientists recently accomplished at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet’s...

NEWS
Inside October 2019 Acts & Facts
September 2, 2019, marked the grand opening of the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History. When will you plan your visit? Why did God...

ACTS & FACTS
The Best-Kept Secret in Texas
Have we told you lately how thankful we are for your prayers and financial support? ICR’s ministry happens because of the Lord’s blessing...