Read Mark 14 -- 16
In Today's Reading:
Jesus' last Passover; Gethsemane; Peter's denial; Jesus before Pilate; Jesus' crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the Sanhedrin determined that He must die (John 11:53). However, His popularity made them fearful to openly arrest Him (Luke 22:2).
Simon, a leper who had been healed by Jesus, lived in Bethany, a small town less than two miles south of Jerusalem on the slope of the Mount of Olives. Just a few days before Jesus was crucified, Simon invited Him and the apostles to his home for supper. As they sat eating, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard (perfume) very precious (costly); and she broke the box, and poured it on His head (Mark 14:3; also Matthew 26:6-13; John 12:1-8).
This ointment of spikenard was valued at more than 300 pence — about a year's wages for a common laborer (Mark 14:5; Matthew 20:2). John records that it was Judas who spoke up, saying: Why was not this ointment sold . . . and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag (money purse), and bore what was put therein (John 12:5-6). To Judas, anything that was poured out upon Jesus was wasted; he coveted the money that the ointment might have brought. Jesus replied: Let her alone: against the day of My burying she has kept this. For the poor always you have with you; but Me you have not always (14:7-8).
The lost opportunity to sell the ointment and pocket the money, coupled with the strong rebuke from Jesus and the great honor bestowed upon Mary, probably embittered Judas, who went to the chief priests, to betray Him to them (Mark 14:10; also Luke 22:3-4). Judas' real reason for being one of the 12 apostles became clear when he said to the chief priests: What will you give me, and I will deliver Him to you? (Matthew 26:15-16). When they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money (Mark 14:11). The betrayal, and even the amount paid to Judas, had been foretold by one of the Lord's prophets 600 years earlier: I said to them . . . give me my price . . . So they weighed for my price, thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12).
Our generation is no different than in the time of Jesus. Human nature remains the same. Every person must make the personal choice whether to accept or to reject Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives. The question asked by Pilate must still be answered: What shall I do then with Jesus Which is called Christ? (Matthew 27:22).
14:31 spake the more vehemently = protested insistently; 14:65 buffet Him = beat Him; 15:15 scourged = whipped, flogged; 15:38 twain = two; 16:16 damned = condemned, judicially sentenced.
For Mark 14:27: See Zechariah 13:7. Mark 14:62: See Psalm 110:1; Daniel 7:13. Mark 15:24: See Psalm 22:18. Mark 15:28: See Isaiah 53:12. Mark 15:29: See Psalm 22:7-8. Mark 15:34: See Psalm 22:1. Mark 16:19: See Psalm 110:1.
Pray for Shirley Dobson, Chairman, 2003 National Day of Prayer · Country: Uzbekistan (24 million) central Asia · Major languages: Uzbek and Russian · Limited religious freedom due to Islamic influence · 68% Muslim; 4% Russian Orthodox; .5% Protestant/Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His redeeming love (Revelation 5:9).
Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 9:8