Holy Wednesday, March 28
scripture reading: Matthew 26.1-16
“And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the Leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on his Head as he sat at the table.”
—Matthew 26:6-7 (NKJV)
“He who dipped his hand with me in the dish will betray me.”
—Matthew 26:23 (NKJV)
In these scriptures we find two moments of intimacy—one is a moment of adoration, the other a moment of betrayal.
Jesus was at the table with the people He loved, the place where He so often gathered with His beloved ones to demonstrate His affection. Bread was broken, stories were told, and the secrets of the Kingdom were unfolded as the ancient Hebrew blessings came forth: “Blessed are you, O Lord God, King of the Universe, for you give us food to sustain our hearts and make our lives glad.” The Bread of Heaven joined in sweet fellowship, and the table became not only a place of feasting and abundance, but also an enclave of connection and belonging. It was in this space, this table place, where Mary of Bethany, filled with adoration for Jesus spared no expense in her worship. She was undeterred in her devotion though it was foolish to those around her. There was no avarice inside of her. Instead, she gave the costliest gift she could, pouring it all out on Jesus. The fragrance of her adoration filled the room and extends to all generations to whom the Gospel is preached.
Just like the other eleven, Judas had been hand chosen by Jesus. Put in the position of treasurer, complete confidence was required of Jesus towards Judas. And yet, Judas was a thief. He helped himself to wealth that was not his to take. Filled with offense and despising transparency, he chose his pain and his own understanding instead of surrender. In his relationship with Judas, Jesus risked far more than the loss of money. By inviting someone like Judas into a deep place of trust, he risked the kiss of friendship becoming the kiss of unfaithfulness. As Judas reclined with Jesus at the table meant for relationship, he dipped his bread in the same cup as the One who loved him. This act indicated trust and intimacy. Jesus knew that he was already betrayed by the one who only outwardly demonstrated affection but inwardly was filled with greed. Generosity was absent in a moment meant for communion.
Mary lavished Jesus with fervent reverence and experienced the riches of the fullness of God. Judas bowed down to his own selfishness and was impoverished by the guilt of his own treason. And yet, the weighty truth is this: Jesus loved them both, the worshipper and the liar. He loved them all to the end.
Jesus is inviting you to come out of the dark, to come out of fear and lies and bask in His Glory. There is no need to hide in brokenness, depositing bitterness and cynicism into the accounts of your heart where they can bankrupt your soul. Instead, choose total abandonment in His presence. You will stand in awe as you begin to overflow with the abundance of heaven. Love the One who knowingly loved the worst and the most beautiful. Unrestrained, fall at His feet. As the roar of the melody of your love rises, the incense of His presence will overwhelm and transform your heart.
SPECIAL THANKS TO SUSAN THOMPSON, OUR EDITOR,
AND OUR CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS:
Palm Sunday - Marcus Harris
Holy Monday - Joel Fernandez
Holy Tuesday - Gina Green
Holy Wednesday - Bethany Pautrat
Maundy Thursday - Susan Thompson
Good Friday - Betsy Herman
Holy Saturday - Jordan Shimon
Resurrection Sunday - Cathy Harris