Jesus is anointed with our tears

Today I have been thinking about the passage we find in John 12 v 1-8 where we find Jesus at the home of Mary and Martha again. We have already met with them earlier in our series of meditations, and here we again find Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus.  This time however she doesn’t just listen, she acts.  She takes a box of perfume, worth about a year’s wages and anoints Jesus feet with the perfume.  Then, she lets loose her hair, and in a very intimate and unorthodox fashion she wipes the perfume into his feet with her hair.

I wish that I had seen her…right there in front of her brother and sister, in front of all the disciples and possibly others besides.  It was very much against the Jewish tradition for a woman to appear with her hair unbound in front of men, yet, in a room full of men, Mary does just that.  Freed from the conventions of her time by her love for Jesus she anoints him with perfume and in so doing fills the whole house with the scent.

Mary showed her feelings for Jesus…and we should not be afraid to do the same. In our strange, broken and grieving world today we can, like Mary, pour out our hearts to him. Words are not necessary.  Jesus hears the unspoken cries of our hearts. Hearts that are broken with grief, hearts that hearts that are full of fear and anxiety, hearts that are uncertain what the next day will bring. Hearts that are exhausted with caring, hearts that are heavy with loneliness and isolation, hearts that fear death. Pour them out onto Jesus feet, wash them with your loving tears. And then know this. That Jesus will take all that suffering, fear and pain, all that sin and sorrow and bear it for you. He will carry it with him to the cross and there he will die for it. And then, on Easter Day, he will come through that death to offer you hope and healing, peace for today and strength for tomorrow and the promise of a new heaven and earth. Wherever and however you find yourself today- be like Mary, go and pour out your heart to Jesus.

James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Ointment of the Magdalene (Le parfum de Madeleine), 1886-1894

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