12 Six days before the Passover feast, Jesus journeyed to the village of Bethany, to the home of Lazarus who had recently been raised from the dead, 2 where they hosted Him for dinner. Martha was busy serving as the hostess, Lazarus reclined at the table with Him, 3 and Mary took a pound of fine ointment, pure nard (which is both rare and expensive), and anointed Jesus’ feet with it; and then she wiped them with her hair. As the pleasant fragrance of this extravagant ointment filled the entire house, 4 Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (who was plotting to betray Jesus), began to speak.
Judas Iscariot: 5 How could she pour out this vast amount of fine oil? Why didn’t she sell it? It is worth nearly a year’s wages;[a] the money could have been given to the poor.
6 This had nothing to do with Judas’s desire to help the poor. The truth is he served as the treasurer, and he helped himself to the money from the common pot at every opportunity.
Jesus: 7 Leave her alone. She has observed this custom in anticipation of the day of My burial. 8 The poor are ever present, but I will be leaving.
9 Word spread of Jesus’ presence, and a large crowd was gathering to see Jesus and the formerly deceased Lazarus, whom He had brought back from the dead. 10 The chief priests were secretly plotting Lazarus’s murder since, 11 because of him, many Jews were leaving their teachings and believing in Jesus.
John 12:1-11, The Voice Bible
Once the palms are on the ground things seem to go back to normal. At least they seem to . . . dinner with friends, conversation, story sharing. Then the reality of what is coming comes to the surface. A response is needed.
I wonder what is our response today as we think about our walk with Jesus this week?
It could be the response that Judas gives, what’s all the fuss about? Denial, hidden agendas, and self interest. Really it’s probably the most natural response. For many of us who are people of faith we even go the extra mile and try to give the facade of spirituality.
This Holy Monday we proclaim that God is not fooled and that if we are to take part in Jesus’ resurrection we must be willing to take part in his life and in his death.
It’s time to put down our palms and face the reality of our own brokenness, the reality of our need for salvation. We must come to terms with the fact that our triumphant dreams are a product of our missing the mark. That our insistence that Jesus fit our image, our desires, our prejudices, our agendas is evidence of our need for a scapegoat.
May we be witnesses this week of our own dying to self. May we be witnesses of our willingness to take on Christ and love the world in ways inexplicable. May we look at the palms on the ground and recognize that in the midst of every day life Christ meets us, and invites us again and again to pour ourselves out, so that in our believing and our behaving others can see resurrection!