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Lent 2021 Devotional - Day 35

March 29, 2021

Devotional - Day 35

 

 

Transcript (By MS Word)

00:00:00

Good morning Grace Church family. Today is the 35th day of Lent. We are in our final week. We are at six days until our final day and then the 7th day. We will celebrate Easter and the Resurrection.

00:00:15

And so this week, Jason and I will be doing 3 different devotionals each.

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I'll do three.

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He'll do 3.

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And we're going to focus on the passion that is this week of Jesus moving in his final motions tored the cross.

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With some significant stories along the way and in some significant insight.

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An what we're trying to draw near to is the reality of what does it mean today in our life?

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That Jesus is resurrected and that death does not exist and one of the things we do with repentance and reflection is we identify those places where we still clean to the notion that this life is everything that death is final.

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I mean, if we're honest, as Christians, we really slip into that mindset most of the time, and what drives most of our negative behaviors is a fear.

00:01:17

Of dying of loss.

00:01:20

And the freedom that comes with knowing that we are to be raised with Jesus and to be with him forever, and that that's a current reality.

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That we're currently raised with him as we already read in Colossians 3 recently.

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That's a very powerful thing.

00:01:40

So what we're going to do this morning is read a story from the.

00:01:44

On and it's the story from Chapter 12.

00:01:47

And it's going to start with 6 days before the Passover, which is where we are roughly depending on how you count exactly and Jewish time, keeping and we're going to read that story, and I'm going to ask you to read it and listen to it, praying that the spirit would help you really hear it fresh and new.

00:02:09

That you and I would hear images and truths that maybe we easily forget.

00:02:15

And then we'll discuss it briefly and read it again, just like we've been doing so here we are.

00:02:22

John 12.

00:02:23

Six days before the Passover.

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Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was whom Jesus had raised from the dead.

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So they gave a dinner for him.

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There, Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table.

00:02:40

Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard.

00:02:44

And anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair.

00:02:51

The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume, but Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, who was about to betray him, said.

00:03:01

Why was this ointment not sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor? He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.

00:03:18

Jesus said, leave her alone.

00:03:20

So that she may keep it for the day of my burial.

00:03:25

For the poor, you will always have with you, but you do not always have me.

00:03:30

This is the word of the Lord.

00:03:33

In this story, we once again are introduced to this amazing woman, Mary Mary, who sat at Jesus feet.

00:03:43

Remember, Martha famously wanted Mary to help.

00:03:48

Serve the food and many people have labeled Mary as lazy.

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Only if that were true, then Martha would not have expected her to help.

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So there's something about Mary that knows what's going on that sees a little bit behind the veil that she's in a sense, like a Prophet.

00:04:04

She's able to understand the deeper things that others are missing.

00:04:11

And what she realizes is Jesus is going to die.

00:04:17

And she wants to while he's still with her anoint him with this oil. Now the value of this nard. According to Judas is estimate is 300 denarii dinner. I would be the one day wage of a laborer so close to a year or 10 months of income for a laborer so very valuable.

00:04:40

Substance, you might even call that a kind of retirement option for someone like Mary or Martha and Lazarus.

00:04:49

An interesting Lee, the 3 of them.

00:04:51

We aren't sure why who's how she got ahold of it, but nobody protested her using it.

00:04:57

But Judas, an she takes this nard and begins to anoint Jesus with it and doesn't use all of it, apparently but will use the rest for his actual burial and he's known.

00:05:07

He knows where he's going and he knows what's happening.

00:05:11

But I would like us to just draw in with Mary and realize nothing in this life has the value we think it has compared to the value of Jesus.

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Hum.

00:05:25

There's something about her love for him that draws me in.

00:05:28

What stands out for you?

00:05:30

What?

00:05:30

What are the things in this story that really draw you in?

00:05:35

Maybe it's.

00:05:38

It's Judas, maybe we really can relate in a way with him, even though I don't believe anybody watching this devotional would call themselves a thief.

00:05:47

Oftentimes where I think we're yanked out of a spiritual.

00:05:52

Moment through practical fear and for him there was just something about the use of money.

00:06:00

Extravagantly, that just took him out of the moment.

00:06:03

Of course, we know that he deceived Jesus, that he's actually not a follower, and he's a thief.

00:06:08

But but I think it's fair to say we can relate to aspects of him, even though we are Christians and we're not like him.

00:06:15

And then Mary seems far beyond where we are, but maybe we could realize, Lord, we want to be like Mary.

00:06:20

We want to be near you.

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We want to draw near to you.

00:06:24

So let's read it again and just hear the words here.

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The fact that there's a fragrance there, there's her hair.

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There's bodies touching.

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This is a physical scene.

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This is not.

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You know, a docile.

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This is something that has elements of this created world just teeming together.

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Really to bring beauty.

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And it's a way for her to express her love for Jesus and his receiving of that.

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Let's listen again.

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Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was whom Jesus had raised from the dead.

00:07:04

So they gave a dinner for him.

00:07:06

There, Martha served more.

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Excuse me, you know Martha is served in Lazarus is one of those who reclining with him at table.

00:07:14

Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair.

00:07:24

The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume, but Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples. He who was about to betray him, said WHI, was this ointment not sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor. He said this not because he cared about the poor.

00:07:42

Or

00:07:43

But because he was a thief and having charge.

00:07:47

Of the money bag he used to help himself to what was put into it.

00:07:52

Jesus said, leave her alone.

00:07:57

So that leave her alone, excuse me.

00:08:05

So that she may keep it for the day of my burial.

00:08:09

For the poor, you always have with you.

00:08:12

But you do not always have me.

00:08:17

In John 20, which we will look at on Sunday, Mary.

00:08:21

I presume the same Mary is clinging again to Jesus in the resurrection and so.

00:08:27

It's a profound statement that he says you will not always have me and and clearly he means in this way at this table.

00:08:36

It's also amazing that.

00:08:39

Mary was aware that Jesus would die, and yet at the table is Lazarus, her brother, whom Jesus raised from the dead so.

00:08:49

Certainly there's hope built in a sense of hope that though he had to die, he would raise again, and it does seem like Mary Ann and probably even Martha are aware far more than even the disciples were of who Jesus was.

00:09:05

But I think the question I have for us is does this feel far away from you?

00:09:12

Do you feel like Jesus in this story sort of exists far away from your troubles?

00:09:17

The things you're concerned about, the needs you have?

00:09:21

Because when we read these types of stories when Jesus brings us into this time to celebrate and reflect on our walk with him, our lives with him, our discipleship with him.

00:09:34

And what he's done for us?

00:09:37

We're actually to bring every concern in every need and every fear to the surface.

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Otherwise, we'll be like Judas in the sense that we'll have this kind of compartmentalized spirituality.

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Let me encourage you to take a few moments to read this again.

00:09:58

And ask, let's ask ourselves like what a value do we have that we would be willing to give to Jesus?

00:10:06

Because we love him so much and honor him with those things.

00:10:10

What are we?

00:10:12

Conversely?

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What are the things we're clinging to?

00:10:14

The things that were the ideas, the objects, the relationships?

00:10:20

Uh.

00:10:22

There are things we often will cling to.

00:10:25

Because we're afraid of them being taken from us, and yet we know that Jesus is teaching very clearly like.

00:10:35

Bring everything to him because he's going to the cross and he's going to raise you and I up with him.

00:10:43

What are we clinging to from Earth?

00:10:45

Not not just that there's nothing wrong with physical things, of course, but often we we take those things and turn them into idols and into things.

00:10:54

We have to have.

00:10:56

When we feel anxious and depressed and we don't have them.

00:11:01

My encouragement this week, and with this this morning's reading would be to read it again and really envision your body get on your hands and knees. Imagine if you are female, that you're letting down your hair imagine.

00:11:14

Doing that, imagine taking a pound of the most expensive thing you have.

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And.

00:11:23

In a sense, maybe wasting it if you will.

00:11:25

Just putting it out there and it's not even a commandment.

00:11:28

Jesus had not commanded this.

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This is an act of pure worship.

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And through that imagination and prayer, ask the spirit to help us act out our Salvation like this, like Mary.

00:11:44

Through the through the renewal of our minds and the renewal of our day, the way we see our world that we would we would see this posture she has toward Jesus and that would drive us to long for him again for his return.

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Have a wonderful day.

00:12:01

It's great to see you guys or at least be with you in this interesting format.

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It was great to see many of you yesterday at worship and I look forward to Easter Sunday.

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Jason will be coming Tuesday and Wednesday and I'll be back Thursday with another passage from John.

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Have a great day.

 

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