In the days approaching Jesus’ death, we are told of the woman with the alabaster flask who broke it and poured out the expensive ointment on Jesus. Some of the disciples who saw what happened thought, ‘what a waste’, since the ointment was said to cost more than 300 denarii (Mark 14:5), which was equivalent to a year’s labourer’s wage in Jesus’ day. In today’s value, this ointment could be worth about £22,000 which is the average UK’s labourer’s salary.
This ointment was not only expensive, but it must have been precious to this woman. However, in comparison to Christ, the ointment was of less value and worth to her. Pouring it out on him was an expression of her love and appreciation for him. Pouring it out on him was an outward expression that in Christ, she has found far more greater riches (Ephesians 3:8) than the worth of the ointment. Pouring it out on him was an expression of her commitment to the Lord, not just in words but also in sacrificial deeds.
The reality is, we all have our own ‘alabaster flask’ that is precious to us. Perhaps it’s your comfort, your time, your work, your money, your plans, or even a particular sin you have been reluctant to relinquish to follow the Lord. Whatever it is, the question to ponder on is: How does that measure to your love and service to the Lord?
Is your ‘alabaster flask’ so precious and demanding of your attention that you perhaps can’t commit to praying and reading the Word of God? Is it that precious to take all your time, including the time meant for weekly worship and fellowship in church? Does your ‘alabaster flask’ demand a greater financial commitment that perhaps church giving rarely features in your monthly budget?
This beautiful act was the woman’s own choice, and while the Lord does not ask us to use everything on Him, the passage speaks of our willingness to render everything to Christ, and to sacrifice and go beyond the norm because He is worthy of it.
Therefore, in this Easter season, whatever your ‘alabaster flask’ is, be challenged to pour it out on Christ and for the sake of the Kingdom.