Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
This week I want to finish off a HELLO FRIENDS series of thoughts from the Book of Mark on the specific topics of stewardship, generosity and giving. Biblical and sacrificial giving is such an important part of being a follower of Jesus, as you’ll discover from the last chapter of Mark and a character known as Mary of Magdalene.
There’s something about Mary.
She was one of the LAST people to see Jesus laid into the tomb.
And then she was the FIRST individual to encounter the Risen Christ.
After the Sabbath, Mary, along with another Mary and Salome, brought spices to the tomb of Jesus in order to anoint him. These would undoubtedly have been expensive. Only families with resources could afford to bury their loved ones with spices. Others would have forgone that part of the process due to restricted funds.
Interestingly, the anointing spices may have included a perfume known as Myrrh. This was a perfume spice given as a gift to Jesus (and his parents) by the wise men at the Saviors birth. It was also mixed into wine and offered to Jesus at his crucifixion. Myrrh in Aramaic means bitter. So, having been a key element at his birth and death, it would seem only appropriate that Myrrh would make an appearance at his resurrection!
Perhaps this particular spice was illustrative of the high price of Jesus’ incarnation, death and resurrection.
Friends, Jesus’ salvation is free…BUT…NOT…cheap.
Perhaps Mary of Magdalene was willing to sacrifice so much because she had been given so much. This is in keeping with Jesus’ words: “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). When one is immensely blessed, it is only natural to want to extend blessing to others, especially unto the Lord.
Such was the case with Mary. Mark 16:9 tells us that she is the very woman who had seven demons driven out of her by the loving hand of Jesus. Seven demons. I’d say ONE would be enough of a problem, but seven? Wow. Imagine how free she must have felt. Like a spiritual spring cleaning.