by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
This touching story of how Yeshua (Jesus) was anointed before His crucifixion carries a beautiful illustration that has ministered to me time and again. I have wondered why the alabaster box needed to be broken when Mary could have simply opened it and poured out the nard; (extremely expensive and precious perfume which might have been Mary's dowry). One commentator said that she refused to use that box for any other purpose after anointing Him. That would make sense if it was Mary's dowry because it would be an expression of a bridal vow to Yeshua and no one else. But whatever the motive in her heart, Mary's example speaks powerfully of the total devotion and commitment her soul had for Yeshua, her will to give the best of everything she had; and it speaks of brokenness followed by anointing and its beautiful fragrance. So I believe this act is an illustration meant to encourage every devoted soul whose offering of herself brings circumstances which "break" her. The fragrance of perfume following the breaking "fills the room".
Broken people "smell" different. Their humility and love are an ambiance that is unmistakable. Being broken before the Lord affects everyone around...as the Apostle Paul said, "... we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;" [2 Corinthians 2:15]. And Paul was a broken man.
We should never be ashamed to be broken, even if we are criticized by those around us, as Mary was. The Lord's commendation of her has traveled around the world for 2,000 years and inspired millions of believers in circumstances which break them. God will not deny a broken heart and a contrite spirit. When we offer ourselves and our most precious things, whether they be material, personal, dreams, longings, loved ones, or our very destinies, on the altar of sacrifice, it is then that God’s anointing will be greatest upon us. It will pour out of us like the ointment from that broken alabaster box -- and His pleasure in us will "fill the room".
Know that when you offer your best to the Lord your hard beautiful stone box will be broken, and after that, the fragrance of your life will be beautiful wherever you go.