I’ve been watching this national news story of the pandemic situation our world is facing with great interest. We are really getting down to the essence of what is important – survival. The political rhetoric has toned down dramatically as the government, the health organizations, the state entities, the news media all seem to be focused on one primary goal: to tell the story of how we are going to get through this dangerous spread of the coronavirus.
I’m not writing this to suggest anything other than this is positive news. Everyone seems to be on the same page and are working for the same things – people’s lives are at stake. Whether the headlines are talking about “Stay at Home” or obtaining masks or ventilators or providing economic stimulus efforts for the people of this nation, it all points to one central theme… we are all trying to survive this dreaded virus attack.
The same dynamic was present in the story of Jesus at Bethany, just before he made his way to Jerusalem and the triumphant entry into the city on what we know as Palm Sunday. In today’s devotion, the author compares the motivations of Mary against those of Judas. He says one side (Mary) gets it while the other side (Judas) doesn’t get it. Ultimately, just like we are experiencing today, only one story can emerge that will save the people.
It’s not the story about saving money to purchase food for the needy (albeit a noble thing to do). In this case, it’s about the Messiah preparing the people around him about what was to come. It all points to one central theme… Jesus was going to Jerusalem to die for the sins of the people. He was going there so that we would survive the dreaded attack of sin upon our lives.
In the story, Jesus tells Mary and Judas that the perfume would be used for his burial. It’s more than a hint of what was to come. Jesus knew. Of course, he knew. And not only did he know, he was ready as well. It’s such an amazing story – that Jesus knew what was going to happen and he still went into the hornet’s nest of Jerusalem and the world of the Pharisees and the Roman rulers. Like Max Lucado wrote “He chose the nails” and we have been blessed since that day.
I admit that I’d fallen behind this past week in my efforts to blog throughout these 40 days of Lent. You noticed, didn’t you? In all honesty, it seems a lot longer than only 31 days (it is actually been longer than that because you would need to add in all of the Sundays since Ash Wednesday). It feels like I’ve been writing about coronavirus and pandemic situations and keeping safe in our homes for the longest time.
We’re getting closer though. We can sense it. Holy Week is right around the bend. We are closer to the days of uncertainty being replaced by the days of the certainty of God’s grace.
Jesus knows it and he is ready to go there for you and for me. He is ready to die so that we may survive.