“Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 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. But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’ This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.’ Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.” John 12:1-11

It had been building for a long time. Jesus had finally become too much for the religious leaders of Israel. They could not stand Him. Not only did He preach against their authority, He worked miracles and the people loved Him for it. Jesus was more popular than the Pharisees, Scribes and Saducees. The people were following after Him instead of them. Then Jesus went and did it – He raised Lazarus from the dead – a man who had been dead for 4 days. That was it. Enough was enough. The chief priests were going to bring all this Messiah talk to an end. They were going to kill Jesus and Lazarus.

This was no surprise for Jesus. The Lord knew He was going to die. It was six days before the Passover and Jesus knew His day was coming – the day He had been planning from eternity. Jesus was in Bethany, only two miles from Jerusalem. He would leave Bethany the next day and go into Jerusalem to spend His last week before dying for the sins of the world.  Mary, led by the Spirit of God, prepared Jesus for His burial by anointing Him with costly oil.

For the next eight days we will look at the amazing events that led day by day to the greatest spiritual battle of all time – celebrated this Holy Week by Christians around the world. May God touch our hearts in a fresh way this week.

“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”