Now the feast of the unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him unto them. And they were glad and covenanted to give him money.”Luke 22:1-5
That got you didn’t it. I remember first reading how the Wednesday before Good Friday is called Spy Wednesday, and appreciating it because it made a lot of sense. There’s a villain in this Easter story.
VILLAIN: a character who. . . constitutes an important evil agency in the plot; scoundrelDictionary.com
Like every other villain before and after him, this villain cares more about his profits than about the people. He sneaks away from the Most Important Person to ever walk this earth and forms a plot against Him with the priests. The villain’s profit is thirty pieces of silver. Then he sneaks back just in time to criticize pure worship.
Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came to him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head, as He sat at meat. But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, “To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.”
When Jesus understood it, He said unto them, “Why trouble ye the woman? for she has done a good work upon Me. For ye have the poor always with you; but Me ye have not always. For in that she has poured this ointment on my body, she did if for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman has done, be told for a memorial of her.”Matthew 26:6-13
WORSHIP: to feel an adoring reverence or regard forDictionary.com
The worshiper enters and leaves nameless. She risks much to worship the Most Important Person to ever walk this earth. She risks disease, entering the house of a leper. She risks shame, approaching Jesus as a woman. She risks her financial security, breaking open that alabaster box and pouring her life’s savings on Christ’s head. She risks looking like a fool.
The villain–we know from a similar account in John 12 that he is all too quick to criticize this lavish act of worship. For, he’s interested in profits, remember, and he holds the money bag for this ragtag group of men. Though the disciples believe that the money goes to the poor, there is evidence that the villain is siphoning funds for himself.
So when the villain protests that the ointment should have been sold to provide money for the poor, recognize his real goal. Why not follow a prophet if you can make a profit?
The worshipper looked like a fool, but that Most Important Person made sure we remember her. Turning to her critics, Jesus scolded them, “Leave her alone.” She that was called fool had made the wise choice, anointing his body for His death. True, caring for the poor is worship in its own right, but there in that moment, hers was the most important kind of worship. That Most Important Person was delighted for she worshipped in the way God longs to be worshipped: lavishly, fearlessly, completely.
With no other profit, than the Person Himself, the Most Important Person to ever walk this earth.
Father, we bring you are fears and ask you to cast them out of us with Your perfect love, so that we may bow in worship. May our lives be worship: may all that we do be done, not for our profit but for Your glory. A-men.
*If you would like to follow along for the rest of the week, enter your e-mail address at the top right of this page. If you missed the first three posts you can still read them here: Palm Sunday and Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday.