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Our students have begun a project of putting together a scale model of the Tabernacle. For the nation of Israel, the knowledge that ‘this is God’s house’, or later, upon entering the Temple with all it’s grand ornateness stirred worship.
Two directions: 1. Fresh Eyes feedback. Foyer. 2. What prepares your heart for worship here? Can you give me one word that describes the attitude of a heart that is ready for worship?
John 12:1–11 HCSB
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, the one Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for Him there; Martha was serving them, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of fragrant oil—pure and expensive nard—anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped His feet with her hair. So the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 4 Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot (who was about to betray Him), said, 5 “Why wasn’t this fragrant oil sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it. 7 Jesus answered, “Leave her alone; she has kept it for the day of My burial. 8 For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.” 9 Then a large crowd of the Jews learned He was there. They came not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus the one He had raised from the dead. 10 Therefore the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus also 11 because he was the reason many of the Jews were deserting them and believing in Jesus.
Tim Hawkins
Two directions: 1. Fresh Eyes feedback. Foyer. 2. What prepares your heart for worship here? Can you give me one word that describes the attitude of a heart that is ready for worship?
Six days before Passover, Jesus goes to Bethany where Mary anoints His feet with perfume.
It was the season of Passover, but what was about to happen was the Great Atonement. Ram sacrificed. 2 goats. Cast lots. One sacrificed, one scapegoat. So some of the things happening in this season of Jesus’ life remind us of both the Passover as well as the Day of Atonement.
The high priest separated himself from his normal place and would have gone to the chamber palhedrin in about the same time frame as when Jesus went to Bethany. The high priest would go through many preparations for entering the Holy of Holies. It was serious business.
On the Day of Atonement, incense would have been burned in the Holy of Holies; symbolic of the prayers of the people before God. In , David asks that his prayers be like incense before God. In
(ESV) — 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Mary poured out spikenard, which is an oil used to make incense!, on the feet of Jesus. “You are the answer to our prayers.” After that day, there would never be another Day of Atonement necessary. Incense would never need to be burned symbolically. After all, the veil was torn in two!
But zoom in on Mary’s act! Lest we think it was impulsive, consider this:
An oil of perfume made from plants that grow high in the Himalayans.
The nard was worth a year’s wages.
It was likely the most valuable thing she owned. Bank? Dowery? If there was no dowery to give, there would be no husband to hold.
She did not offer it as a gift whole, but poured it out. It couldnt be put back in its container. Its value, worth was poured out!
She let her hair down and wiped His feet. Opening herself to criticism and rebuke, which she received. But her willingness to NOT CARE about what others would say allowed her to worship Jesus like no one else in the room. And it was BEAUTIFUL!
It is a marvel to read this middle eastern book in a western society. This ancient account in today’s world. Dust. Sandals. Feet. Perfume.
The contrast of division: Judas
As the fragrance of the nard carries throughout the house, the true nature of one of the disciples begins to come to the surface: Judas rebukes the anointing, claiming the money of its worth could have been used for the poor.
When God’s glory begins to shine forth, there seems always to be one who will speak out against it. “We cant do this” naysayers will come against what God is doing. They did against Jesus when He healed. They did against the apostles in the early church. And when Judas does it here, John calls him a thief (v.6). When it happens in and around the church today, it is still done by a thief. Stealing God’s glory!
The contrast of the crowd: Marvel or kill
There is coming another
The crowd gathers upon hearing that Jesus had come to town. And in desire of seeing the once-dead Lazarus. Many of them wanted to marvel, some to worship. The rest of them were those wanting to end all this! The had already decided to kill Jesus. Now they would throw Lazarus into that mix.
There will be another time Jesus appears to a divided crowd:
In the words of Benjamin Hastings

I cast my mind to Calvary Where Jesus bled and died for me I see His wounds His hands His feet My Saviour on that cursed tree
I cast my mind to Calvary Where Jesus bled and died for me I see His wounds His hands His feet My Saviour on that cursed tree

Verse 2

His body bound and drenched in tears They laid Him down in Joseph's tomb The entrance sealed by heavy stone Messiah still and all alone
His body bound and drenched in tears They laid Him down in Joseph's tomb The entrance sealed by heavy stone Messiah still and all alone

Chorus

O praise the Name of the Lord our God O praise His Name forevermore For endless days we will sing Your praise Oh Lord oh Lord our God
O praise the Name of the Lord our God O praise His Name forevermore For endless days we will sing Your praise Oh Lord oh Lord our God

Verse 3

Then on the third at break of dawn The Son of heaven rose again O trampled death where is your sting The angels roar for Christ the King
Then on the third at break of dawn The Son of heaven rose again O trampled death where is your sting The angels roar for Christ the King

Verse 4

He shall return in robes of white The blazing sun shall pierce the night And I will rise among the saints My gaze transfixed on Jesus' face
He shall return in robes of white The blazing sun shall pierce the night And I will rise among the saints My gaze transfixed on Jesus' face
O praise the Name of the Lord our God
O praise His Name forevermore
For endless days we will sing Your praise
Oh Lord oh Lord our God
Mary’s sacrifice/worship plus verses 9-11 serve as a great reminder that the story is marching headlong toward the cross.
There is no doubt this story is of extravagant worship! How can we worship extravagantly?
A little over 10 years ago we had a student...
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