Pastor's Pondering


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Preparing for Easter

by Duane Mabee on March 18, 2021

How are you preparing for Easter?  I am sure there is a lot of physical preparation going on – meal planning, house cleaning, shopping, etc.  What about heart preparation?  What are you doing to prepare your heart? 


One lady prepared by giving away her most precious possession.  She “wasted” it on Jesus.  You may know the story.  It took place shortly before Jesus’ crucifixion. 


Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to Him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at table.  And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?  For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”  But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman?  For she has done a beautiful thing to Me…  In pouring this ointment on My body, she has done it to prepare Me for burial…” Matt 26:6-13 ESV


Obviously, Jesus didn’t see this act as a waste.  He saw it as worship.  It may have also prepared both Jesus and Mary for what they would endure over the following week.  I read an interesting piece by Ken Gire that suggested the lingering aroma of the perfume may have buoyed them both through the arrest, trials, and crucifixion. 


The perfume would have saturated Jesus’ clothes.  Did it remind Him from time to time how much He was loved?  Did it help Him recall that at least one person seemed to understand?  Did His words reverberate in Mary’s heart – “she has done a beautiful thing to Me…  she has done it to prepare Me for burial”? 


No doubt, Mary’s act deepened her relationship with Jesus, but it also prepared her for a fuller experience of the resurrection.  It opened her heart and mind to the deeper meaning of what she was experiencing.


What could you do this year to help you experience the meaning of Easter in a deeper way?  How could you prepare your heart as well as your home and your table? 


Maybe it would help to read the gospel accounts of the arrest, trials, crucifixion and resurrection slowly, imagining each scene and experiencing the emotion and confusion.  Maybe it would help to spend some time contemplating why Jesus had to die for you and why He chose to die for you. 


Whatever it takes, I encourage you to do something special to prepare your heart for Easter this year.