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Day 43 Lenten Scripture and Meditation: Matthew 26:13

Woman anoints Jesus from her alabaster jar
Woman anoints Jesus from her alabaster jar
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Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:6-13

On Wednesday, the tempo of Holy Week increases. This is the day widely known as "Spy Wednesday.” It is the day when Judas Iscariot, a disciple turned betrayer agreed to show the chief priests where they could easily capture Jesus.

First we read that Jesus relaxed that evening in Bethany where a woman anointed Him with expensive perfume from her alabaster box. This was a foreshadow of Jesus’ burial (Matthew 26:6-13).

People often used expensive alabaster bottles made out of a material resembling marble to store costly ointments.They would seal the ointment to prevent evaporation. The neck of the bottle had to be broken in order to get to its contents which had to be used all at once. The costly ointment might suggest an heirloom passed from one generation to the next.

While the disciples rebuked the woman for wasting the ointment, Jesus' response to the disciples was a foretelling of His death and the anointing at His burial.

Judas chooses to get what he still can from his three-year investment in Jesus. He decides to betray Him for the price of a slave at that time which was only 30 pieces of silver (Exodus 21:32).

Judas represents all those who follow Jesus only for what they can get from Him, not for how they can serve Him. Eventually they may decide that the cost of serving Him is higher than it is worth.

Ask yourself if you have a bit of Judas in you. Would you betray Jesus for personal gain?

Read Lenten lesson for Day 44 of this Lenten season as we get closer to Jesus' death on the cross.