Summary: A look at the events leading to the cross.
SERIES: WALKING WITH JESUS
“THE SUFFERING SERVANT”
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Winston Churchill had an over-arching desire to watch the invasion from the bridge of a battleship in the English Channel. Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D, Eisenhower was just as passionate about stopping him. His fear was that Churchill would lose his life during the battle.
Churchill would not be denied the experience. Eisenhower turned to a higher authority in King George VI. The king told Churchill that if it was the Prime Minister’s duty to witness the assault, then it was also the king’s duty to do so as well. Churchill relented because he could not expose the King of England to such danger. The prime rule of chess is to protect your king. The finish of the game is check-mate – when your king is captured.
Our king was not concerned with His own life. Phil. 2:8 tells us about our King – “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
We are almost finished with our series through the Gospel of Mark. It’s time to look at the last few hours of Jesus’ life on earth. Earlier, Jesus declared in Mk. 10:45 – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The time has come. The ransom must be paid.
Mk. 14:1-11 – “Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the
chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. ‘But not
during the Feast,’ they said, ‘or the people may riot.’ While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the
home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume,
made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, ‘Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor.’ And they rebuked her harshly. ‘Leave her alone,’ said Jesus. ‘Why are you
bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help
them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on
my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout
the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.’ Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went
to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money.
So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.”
The chief priests and the teachers of the law were ready to kill Jesus. They were doing their best to plot and plan His death. But they didn’t know that even though they thought that Jesus’ death would be according to their plan, God was working all things together for good. Even though these religious leaders planned it for evil, God was going to use what was going to happen for the greatest good of all – the salvation of every person who would put their faith in His Son.
Something very important happens before their plot is completed. Jesus is attending a dinner in his honor. As he reclines at the table, a woman comes with jar of very expensive ointment or perfume. She breaks the jar and pours the expensive perfume over Jesus’ head. The Gospel of John identifies this woman as Mary the sister of Lazarus and that she also poured this perfume over Jesus’ feet.
Even though several people complain about her act of adoration, Jesus commends her for what she has done. We see a beautiful act of worship. She gives to Jesus in a loving and a lavish way. She is not afraid to worship him in a very personal but public manner.
How do you worship the King? Do you give lovingly and lavishly in worship? Are you afraid that someone will see you? Are you worried about what people are going to say? Do you see worship as a “waste” – a waste of time, a waste of effort, a waste of valuable resources?
Worship is all about pouring ourselves out before God. Worship is our thanks to God for what he has done for us. Mary poured out lovingly and lavishly before her Lord because she understood what he was getting ready to do for her. He was going to pay the ransom.