Read Matthew 26:1-16, Mark 14:1-11, Luke 22:1-6
Is Jesus the Messiah or not? That question marked the lives of everyone Jesus interacted with, just like it does for us today. What people did with Jesus, whether they decided to believe Him and how they positioned their hearts toward Him, was the greatest decision they would ever make.
The Sanhedrin saw the great things Jesus did. They marveled at His teaching, but they worried that Jesus’ popularity and teaching would affect their position in society. They wanted to protect their authority as teachers and leaders, so the Sanhedrin tried to trap Jesus with questions and plotted to end His life. Little did they know, it was for that death that Jesus came! (Romans 14:9)
Judas walked with Jesus for three years. Beware, you can spend a lot of time around Jesus and His people without giving your heart to Him. This was Judas’ story. Perhaps, Judas figured he would gain position, accolades, and recognition when the Roman government was overthrown. Imagine Judas’ disappointment to learn Jesus came to build a spiritual kingdom, one marked by sacrifice and servanthood.
Mary was a simple, Jewish woman. She was unmarried in a culture where a woman’s value came from her husband’s position. Yet, she had the honor of anointing Jesus’ body before His death. Mary took her perfume and knelt at Jesus' feet. Mary’s outward actions mirrored the inner posture of her heart. She bowed before Jesus in submission, opened her most valuable possession, and poured it on Jesus' feet.
Jesus Himself said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends” (John 15:13). That is what Mary did before Jesus, and it’s ultimately what Jesus does for us.
In the days leading up to Easter, it’s healthy to pause and consider who we think Jesus is. Is He a threat to our current way of life like He was to the Sanhedrin? Is He someone we’ve followed because we believe it will bring prestige as Judas did? Or, is Jesus our Lord? Would we sacrifice everything in response to His love like Mary?
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