John 12:1-9 (NLT) Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. 4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. 7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” 9 When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead.
It was just six days before Passover when Jesus died. Mary and Martha gave a dinner in Jesus’ honor in appreciation for raising their brother, Lazarus, from the dead. While everyone celebrated, the men’s chatter silenced one by one as a sweet fragrance filled the room. Mary had poured expensive perfume on Christ’s feet. She was uncovering her hair to dry His feet! It was shocking, and Judas responded with a harsh rebuke. But Jesus defended Mary: “She did this in preparation for my burial” (vs. 7). He stood on the precipice of the crucifixion. I wonder, did the fragrance linger on His clothing during the difficult days ahead as He endured the beating, as He carried the cross? Mary’s remarkable act of worship reminds us that worship connects us to our Savior in deeply intimate ways that enable us to discern His voice and connect to His heart. On this second day of Holy Week, make sure you set aside extra time to give Jesus your purest worship.