Monday and Tuesday of Holy Week were full of drama. Jesus went to the Temple both days claiming authority and condemning the old religion of works righteousness. We don’t know much about what happened on Wednesday in Jerusalem. Which conversations did Jesus have? Which arguments did he win? It’s a little tricky to tell. But we do know what happened on Wednesday night. Spy Wednesday it’s sometimes called, because this is the night that Judas will decide to betray Jesus. But also, in stark contrast, this is the night that Mary will anoint Jesus in Bethany.
Mark 14:3-11. And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. 4 There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 9 And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.
Let me tell you what I’m NOT going to say today. I’m not going to say “be like Mary not Judas.” I’m not going to ask the question, “Which will you be this Easter, Mary or Judas?”
Why? Because this is a blog about being IN CHRIST. About our union with Christ. About having the life of Jesus in us. Therefore, we already know who we are in the story of Spy Wednesday.
We are not Judas.
Judas is the “seed of Satan.” He is opposed to Christ’s mission. He is greedy and rebellious. He only sees Jesus as someone to use for his own gain. Likely a political gain. He fails to see his real need, the need for a Savior. The need for Christ’s death and resurrection. He sees only glory, but a glory without a cross. His own cross. Judas could not find his place at Jesus feet. And so he left. He sought his own way, and in so doing his own demise.
We are Mary.
Mary is the follower of Christ that embraces his death. She anoints him for burial. She’s seen a resurrection up close and personal with Lazarus her brother, and now her faith in Jesus’ resurrection allows her to embrace his crucifixion. And her own. She gives everything she has to Christ. Not only her extremely valuable ointment, but also clearly her heart. She is united to Jesus. They are of the same mind. Their hearts are knit together as one. Like Judas, Mary seeks glory, but it’s the glory that comes through sacrifice, sorrow, and even shame. Mary has found her place at the feet of Jesus once again. A place of love and honor from her Savior.
God we know who we are in the story. We are Mary not Judas. But this is only because of your saving grace. Jesus knit our hearts to yours. Let us find your glory through your sacrifice today and every day. Amen.