Thursday, May 16, 2013

Anoint or Betray?

Memory is an interesting thing, isn't it?  We each remember things differently; some people are visual while others remember scents or sounds.  For me, when I remember a specific event, I often associate it with other things going on in my life or current events.  For example, I remember right where I was in the room when I heard the news about the space shuttle, Challenger exploding (in the lunch line at school).  I remember walking through the common area at the nursing home I worked at when the journalist on the TV announced the Oklahoma.  I remember where I was as each event of the September 11th attach rolled out.  I also remember right where I was sitting in my 5th grade class room when my best friend who I trusted betrayed me.  Painful or shocking memories have a way of burning themselves into our brains, don't they?  But so do good memories.  I remember when I was told after my audition into music school that I was accepted.  I remember meeting my future husband for the first time.  I remember when my husband proposed to me.  And I have vivid memories of the births of each of my children.  In the verses we are reading today, we have a few scenes described to us of moments that are forever burned in time's memory.  Please use the link and read Matthew 26:1-16.

The first thing we read is Jesus mentioning the Passover and that He would be crucified.  I can't help but wonder if the disciples heard Him saying that and not understanding, yet it still was burned in their memories.  The next scene we read about is the fact that there was indeed a plot to kill Jesus.  But then, there is a scene that I have no doubt was a scene that played over in the disciples minds again and again.  Jesus was eating a Simon's house, who had been healed from leprosy.  While He was there, a woman came in and anointed Jesus with expensive perfume.  When she was rebuked, Jesus mentioned that she was merely preparing Him for his burial.  Then He tells them how this memory would forever be burned in time - wherever the Gospel was preached.  Can you imagine the scene?  Jesus not only acknowledged her anointing, but He said it would always be told.

We are then told of Judas's plot to betray Jesus.  As I mentioned about the betrayal I experienced, it was painful enough that I remember each moment unfolding and can picture the room and right where my desk was.  Imagine how painful the betrayal of our Lord had to be?  Think about it - the very One who humbled Himself and became man in order that we would be saved was betrayed to the point of death.  Betrayed by a friend.  This is a moment that is burned forever in time, because it is a moment that forever changed the world.

But here is something that is going through my mind right now: each and every day, we choose whether or not we will betray or anoint our Savior.  What I mean is that there are choices that we make that either honor or dishonor the sacrifice Jesus made.  So, when we set aside what we know is right and choose to please our human desires, it is like a betrayal.  But when we sacrifice our human desires in order to do what pleases God, it is like an anointing.  Just as in the scenes in Matthew 26, we have full capacity to choose what we are going to do.  We can choose to honor Jesus' sacrifice; God even empowers us to choose to honor.

Do you choose to betray or anoint?

This post is linked with Thought Provoking Thursday.


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