Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Mary anoints Jesus
Dear friend,

May the amazing grace that God gave to the world be celebrated over and rejoiced in today by all of us!

Who is Jesus? Does He love you/me? What does He want for you/me?

If a loved one was sick, you called for the doctor, but got a message back that he/she is not coming for at least two days, and in the end did not make it in time before you loved one died, what would you think? Would you think that it was a loving thing for the doctor to do? No, we would not think it was loving, in fact, we would think it very cruel.
We heard a couple of weeks ago in one of our scripture readings from the book of Isaiah in chapter 55 which goes like this: 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God is always working through many means in order to bring us to "life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:30

The setup for this message begins at the beginnning of chapter 11 of John's Gospel with the following words:

KJV John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
KJV John 11:2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.

He responded in verse 3, good so far, it doesn't appear that Lazarus will die,.what does he mean that this is for the glory of God and for the glory of the Son of God? But He does not come to help...

KJV John 11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
KJV John 11:15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

Now Jesus does not only come, but he says that for their sakes, he is glad that he did not come. for he has a greater purpose in mind than only Lazarus and his health. He had others in mind, first Martha, then Mary....

19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.

Martha believed in Jesus as her Savior, spoke of it with words, and then went and told her sister Mary that Jesus is come and calls for her.

29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.
30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.
48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.
49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;
52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.
55 And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.
56 Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?
57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.

Read Text
KJV John 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.

Jesus at times stayed night in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, along with Mary, Martha n Lazarus, one who had been healed of leprosy by Jesus. It was in honor of Jesus for his healing of Simon. All the disciples r present who was a living memorial of God's power in healing.

But wait, there is another memorial: Lazarus who had been raised from the dead n now sat at the table with them all.

Now, let us imagine the scene, and may we view it through our Saviour's heart, mind and eyes. Let us do that by having a conversation with Him which could go in the following manner........

Lord, you are sitting there, having completed your public ministry, for it is no longer expedient for you to be in public as you will shortly enter Jerusalem. You know the hour of your glory is approaching. What were you thinking? You had your face set toward Jerusalem, you are able to see the harvest that will come through the your blood which would spill from your body, and so it must have been with joy and sorrow intermingled that you sat at the table. As you chatted with all the guests, alongside you being Lazarus who had been dead for four days chatting in a very much alive manner, the conversation must have at times focused on the one who was once dead, but now is alive. It must have been hard for you to hold back, knowing what was to come through the glorious hour which was to come: Your Father and you glorified through bringing life out of death to the world!!!!!!!!! But Mary must have been on your heart, as well as many of us here today..........

Your last conversation with Mary had been one after which you felt her lack of ability to understand your purpose in delaying to come to help her brother. You so wanted her to see the glory of God, and therefore you moved to bring up Lazarus from the dead, to illustrate beforehand of what of your death and resurrection!!!

11:32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.

Oh, Mary, I want you to see much much more than just a physical healing, I want you to see through this experience that I am the resurrection and the life. I am going to give you spiritual healing, which is what you need.

Somewhere between her disappointment in the death of her brother, and the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead, Mary came to see more than a physical healing for.....

Mary approaches you, her heart full of gratitude, full of her desire to honor you, and brimming over with love. But she also has a sense of your impending death, knowing it is coming but not quite sure why it has to be so. She has no words, but is carrying an alabaster vessel of pure oil of spikenard, a very expensive perfume. She pours it all out on your head and your feet, then she bends down n wipes your feet with her loosened tresses.
She worships you silently, Lord, from the depths of her heart.

No words spoken but a deep message was given to all who were seeing this. Then, what is that aroma arising from your body, Jesus? She has poured out a very valuable substance onto you to speak out of her heart, a heart that did not care who saw her pour out her love onto you.

Others breathed in the sweet smelling aroma, and it was pleasant to their senses, but to one the act of worship was missed: Judas...

He had a monetary value pegged on it, but did not see or realize of the nature of the love that was poured out from Mary onto you...

As you watched your betrayer act out of his nature, you did not hesitate in speaking into Mary's heart of worship. You told him to back off, You commended her good work, told him that there will always be poor on the earth, but that you will not always be present. You interpreted the act of worship for all present: She had anointed your body for your upcoming burial, and furthermore, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, it will be spoken of as a memorial to her act of worship.

Lord, this truth must have penetrated light into Judas' heart since he now went out to the chief priests n scribes to discuss your betrayal. He was done with you...

You saw your death n resurrection before you, but what did Mary understand or realize? Your embalming was being done here, but did she know that? It is clear, Lord, that she loved n adored you and held nothing back in her desire to show you and those around you of her love and adoration for you.

Are you saying that as your children there will always be plenty of needy people to help with physical needs, but that we should not neglect our souls need in caring for the needy?

Dear Lord, help us to never forget that outside of You, we live with a death sentence, which we brought upon ourselves. Help us to never forget that you experienced death so that out of your death, life was brought forth in You, and therefore to us.

I was at a convention yesterday with a friend and when it came time to listen for the prizes at the end of the show, I took both tickets and waited for our names to be called. As I looked at the cards, I noticed that I had not filled out my name and number, so I thought, well, My name will not be called, for I was invited to participate, but did not follow through by putting my filled out stub in the tumbler.

We once lived in harmony with God, we chose death, He sent His Son to be our death for us and out of his death came life. That is what Mary saw, Judas did not see it and instead went out to join those who wanted to kill Jesus.

Lord, may your Spirit bring these words into our hearts and minds so that we would fall before you in worship in spirit and in truth in Christ Jesus, through His death and resurrection.

God's Peace!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 13 Mar 2016 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns