From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised Matthew 16:21 ESV
We all know what happened on that first day, that terrible and blessed day on the cross. On the third day it is very clear that Jesus rose from the dead. But in spite of many ideas and even elaborate tales no one truly knows just what occurred on Holy Saturday. So can we ask the question, “What if Jesus simply rested? What if when Jesus said, “It is finished!” and gave His spirit into his father’s hands He just rested – without sorrow, suffering or demands of any kind for that day. What if after three and a half years of ministry in which it was said that he had nowhere to lay his head and scarcely time to eat that Jesus chose to rest in His Father’s ability to do all that needed to be done for the day.
What if Jesus rested because it was the Sabbath? What if the same day on which the creation of the heavens was completed Jesus just paused to see everything that was good in the new creation now begun? What if there are times in our own lives when there is nothing more holy to do than nothing? What if on this Holy Saturday we could quietly reflect and rest in the completed work of Jesus Christ. What would our lives be like if for even one day we simply trusted God to do all?
And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. Mark 14:3 ESV
Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. John 12:3 NKJV
Though this is Holy Wednesday and the last day of Lent; I wanted to take a glance back to this banquet held in Jesus’ honor the week before. I had long been puzzled by the differences in the stories of the anointing of Jesus at Bethany; till I began to re-imagine the scene at the banquet. I saw Lazarus seated next to Jesus, with Martha serving the tables as the people slowly filled the room. Then Mary appeared in the doorway, holding her alabaster jar of perfumed oil. Silently she slipped through to where Jesus reclined and she breaks the seal on her jar pouring some on the head of Jesus. The power of the fragrance immediately filled the room. A momentary silence ensued as the guests stopped and turned to see what had happened. But then just as quickly, the air was filled with complaints about such a waste of resources being made. Mary kneels unashamed looking up to Jesus’ face and seeing His acceptance of her gift, she pours the rest of the perfumed oil on His feet and wipes them clean with her hair. No matter how she looked to others Mary was focused on only one thing. She still had more for Jesus! As we are traveling together towards the Passion of Christ this week, we should also ask; “Am I still all too worried about what everyone else will say?”, or can I say with Mary, “Master there’s still more!”
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. Luke 21:1-3 ESV
On this, His final day of public ministry, Jesus takes time to praise the offering of a widow. Among the crowds at the temple that day, she was probably considered the least important by most people. In fact few would have even noticed as she quietly slipped her two coins into the charity box. However everyone noticed the rich men as they carried in their gifts with great fanfare. At the sound of their silver and gold coins clanking into the offering box people were oohing and aahing about how much they gave. But Jesus wasn’t impressed with money. He didn’t care about a big performance or false religiosity. He just waited quietly to see if anyone had come to give with all their heart.
Then just before Jesus went to prepare for His last meal with His disciples He gave us a simple insight about one widow. She had come with a pure heart and she had given all.