Where was God when Jesus was crucified? He was right there with Him! The Spirit, too!
18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter [He continuously reveals His light to us] till the full light of day.
The anointing of Jesus in Matthew 26:6-13 is an Integral part of the Passion of Christ. It is the official beginning of the end, so to speak. Up to this point, Jesus had
- turned His face toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51);
- Healed Lazarus (John 11:1-46);
- Ticked off the chief priests and Pharisees to the point that they planned to kill Him (John 11:50-53).
Let’s look at the passage combining Matthew’s point of view and John’s point of view:
M- 6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
J- 12 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
M- 8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
J- 4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
M- 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
J- 7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
Comparing the two accounts, we find that the woman was Mary, the objector was Judas, his motives were selfish, and the perfume/oil was for Christ’s burial. Oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit (Oil as Symbol). We now have the entire representation of the Trinity (the presence of the Father is stated by Jesus in John 8:29). The willingness of God the Father to lay down His life through God the Son, Jesus Christ, shows the great, great love of the Trinity for mankind, His creation. The Spirit is in agreement, and is present on the cross through the entire process. The last words of Jesus were, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” All three of the Trinity are represented in that statement.
What is so important about the Trinity being present on the cross? Their presence turns what might be considered as a punitive (punishing) action into a rescue mission of mankind! The wrath of God was poured out, not on Jesus, but on sin and death. Jesus took them both to the grave and left them there. We have nothing left to fear! Now, THAT’S good news!
Abba, the degree of love You showed us through the Passion tells us just how crazy You are for us. You showed us Your “self-giving, radically forgiving, co-suffering love*.” May we believe in that love, receive that love, and then share that love with everyone around us. Amen.
*A More Christlike Way pg. 57