A quick look through the book of Psalms will reveal a theme that repeats itself again and again - the steadfast love of God.
When we look at Jesus we see the reflection of what God is like. In his life, in facing death, and in death itself, Jesus remained faithful in his love towards those he came to save.
As we journey through Holy Week, you will see the steadfast love of God again and again, fully revealed in the face of Jesus.next >
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
John 12:1-11next >
The sense of smell can stir up powerful memories. The smell of shoe polish can still take me back to my boyhood, when I used to shine my shoes before church every Sunday. I can remember just where I sat, and how much I hated that job.
What do you think the disciples felt in the years that followed Jesus’ death when they caught a whiff of expensive perfume? Did it take them back to that night in Bethany when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet? If it did, they might remember that Jesus was talking about being anointed for his burial, and it may have brought tears to their eyes.
But they might also remember that Lazarus — who had been raised from the dead — was right there with them. It may have helped them remember that — where Jesus is concerned — death never has the last word.
Jim Somervillenext >
Lord, in this week when everybody seems to be talking about your death, help me remember that — where you are concerned — death never has the last word. It didn’t have the last word for you, and it won’t have the last word for me. Amen.next >
O that you and I might be,
Faithful and true.
God grant us grace
That we might become,
Steadfast in our love too.
Jim Somerville is the pastor of First Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia. He is married to the former Christy Treadwell and they have two daughters, Ellie and Catherine, both of whom grew up going to Passport. Jim enjoys backpacking and almost any other activity that gets him outdoors.
Oh The Deep Deep Love of Jesus