If you knew it was your last week before heaven, what would you do?
We are in the midst of the week of Christ’s death and His resurrection. What a stupendous week of Scriptural fulfillment, anticipation, agony, and victory.
I am intrigued with the near-event in John 12:1-9, just before the triumphal entry into Jerusalem and as a prelude to Jesus’ last days.
John’s gospel boldly states its purpose is to invite hearers to trust alone (“believe”) in Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, and to thus abundantly live now and forever as His fully devoted followers (John 1:12; 5;24; 10:10; 20:30-31). It is incredibly eye-opening to see the stop the God-man makes on His way to Jerusalem’s drama by being with ones He dearly loved. Humble, too. They would forever ask: Guess who came for dinner?!
For sure, at the table were Jesus, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. The disciples were definitely in the room and likely were among those served. Of course, the whole scenario is about Jesus—courageous in stopping, knowing He is being pursued by His enemies. He says little and loves a lot. Is the cost too great for you to go to a particular someone who needs Christ’s love?
Lazarus, recently dead and stinking, was a celebrity on his own for the right reason but wrongly pursued by enemies of Jesus. They wanted to kill him. His miracle new life and Savior got in the way of their unrepentant hearts. He is prominent in John’s retelling of the dinner. The Divine Son of God was a loyal friend to Lazarus and He also had a way of hanging out with the wrong crowd—no matter the cost. Who is Christ sending you to serve this Easter?
We dare not forget Mary and Martha. Mary usually gets our attention and Martha is unjustly criticized. Mary, in a stunning act of humility and adoration, takes a year’s worth of wages poured into a bottle of costly perfume and anoints the feet of Jesus. Usually, the head of a guest was anointed with perfume and the feet only with water. She does this with her hair—normally covered by Jewish women in the presence of men. There should be no barriers to love’s devotion and acts of sacrifice. And Martha? Verse two simply, profoundly says, “Martha was serving.” Jesus Himself did not come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45). How about you at work, at school, or at home?
Among the others is Judas—the betrayer, critic, and instrument of Satan. There is the crowd outside—screaming at them (and us), truly religious but lost, looking for a celebrity or a good selfie with them or a good story to tell back home. Ouch.
Finally, there were the “many [who were] believing.” They took it all in and bravely turned to follow Jesus. Have you?
This Easter, are you there at the table, in the room, or outside?