An Act of Love

By John Henson

Passover was the most significant feast of Judaism and every Jew was to be present in Jerusalem, if possible, to celebrate it.

The Passover memorialized Israel’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt. Specifically, it called attention to the night death passed over. It was an important time in Palestine.

Passover’s additional importance was the coinciding barley harvest. According to Leviticus 23:10-11, the crop could not be sold until a barley sheave was waved before the Lord.

The Jews made every preparation for the feast including helping pilgrims coming to Jerusalem. According to Josephus, 256,500 lambs were slaughtered ― one for every ten people ― for consumption during the feast. If true, almost 3,000,000 people would attend the Passover.

Other preparations included teaching daily lessons in the temple, repairing and marking roads and preparing minds for the coming holy day. Interestingly, tombs were white-washed not for aesthetic purposes, but to help pilgrims identify them so they wouldn’t be touched. Touching a tomb made one ceremonially unclean.

With all the preparations, there was one other performed in the house of Simon the Leper when Jesus reclined to eat. A woman (according to John 12 probably Mary, Lazarus’ sister) broke a vial of Nard and poured the entire contents on Jesus.

Jesus said the act was lovely. Love does lovely things. Nard was a very expensive import from India. Custom required only a few drops be used for guests, but Mary used the entire vial.

Mary’s act was extravagant. Love does not count the cost; it does all it can. When a husband gives a bouquet, he doesn’t give dead or dying flowers. What message would that send? No, he buys a fine bouquet of roses because they’re the best.

Mary wouldn’t let this opportunity to show her love for Jesus slip. Sometimes there may be only one opportunity to tell someone, “I love you.” Love won’t let that opportunity get away.

In our relationship with Jesus exactly what is the status of our love for him? Do we do lovely things? Do we give the best of ourselves and our money? Do we take every opportunity we can to express our love in good works?

Have you prepared yourself for heaven? Of all the things we can do to prepare for a great event, have we kept in mind Jesus coming? Are you ready? Prepare today!