Monday of Holy Week - Jn 12:1-11 -- Jesus Anointed at Bethany - Id-dilka ta' Ġesù f'Betanja
12. Id-dilka ta' Ġesù f'Betanja
[Ġw:12:1] Sitt ijiem qabel il-festa ta' l-Għid Ġesù mar Betanja, fejn kien joqgħod Lazzru li Ġesù kien qajjem mill-imwiet. [Ġw:12:2] Hemmhekk għamlulu ikla; Marta bdiet isservi, waqt li Lazzru kien wieħed minn dawk li qagħdu fuq il-mejda ma' Ġesù. [Ġw:12:3] Marija ħadet libbra fwieħa tan-nard pur, tiswa ħafna, u dilket biha riġlejn Ġesù, mbagħad ixxuttathomlu b'xagħarha; u d-dar imtliet bir-riħa tfuħ. [Ġw:12:4] Ġuda l-Iskarjota, wieħed mid-dixxipli tiegħu, dak li kien se jittradih, qal:[Ġw:12:5] "Din il-fwieħa għax ma nbigħetx tliet mitt dinar biex jingħataw lill-foqra?" [Ġw:12:6] Issa dan qalu mhux għax kien jimpurtah mill-foqra, imma għax kien ħalliel, u, billi hu kien il-kaxxier, kien jisraq kull ma kienu jaqilgħu. [Ġw:12:7] Qallu Ġesù: "Ħalliha, din il-fwieħa kienet refgħetha għal jum id-difna tiegħi. [Ġw:12:8] Il-foqra dejjem issibuhom magħkom, imma lili mhux dejjem issibuni."
Ftehim kontra Lazzru
[Ġw:12:9] Kotra kbira ta' Lhud saru jafu li hu kien qiegħed hemm, u marru mhux biss minħabba Ġesù, imma wkoll biex jaraw lil Lazzru, li hu kien qajjem mill-imwiet. [Ġw:12:10] Għalhekk il-qassisin il-kbar ftiehmu li joqtlu lil Lazzru wkoll, [Ġw:12:11] għax minħabba fih ħafna mil-Lhud bdew jitilquhom u jemmnu f'Ġesù.
Jn 19:38-42 -- The Burial of Jesus - Id-difna ta' Ġesù
Id-difna ta' Ġesù
(Mt 27, 57-61 ; Mk 15, 42-47 ; Lq 23, 50-56)
[Ġw:19:38] Wara dan, Ġużeppi minn Arimatija, li kien dixxiplu ta' Ġesù bil-moħbi għax kien jibża' mil-Lhud, mar u talab lil Pilatu biex jieħu l-ġisem ta' Ġesù. Pilatu ħallieh, u hu ġie u ħa l-ġisem tiegħu. [Ġw:19:39] Ġie wkoll Nikodemu, dak li qabel kien mar għand Ġesù billejl, u ġieb miegħu taħlita ta' morr u sabbara, tiżen xi mitt libbra. [Ġw:19:40] Dawn it-tnejn ħadu l-ġisem ta' Ġesù u kebbewh bil-faxex ta' l-għażel bil-fwejjaħ, kif soltu jagħmlu l-Lhud qabel id-difna. [Ġw:19:41] Fejn kienu sallbu lil Ġesù kien hemm ġnien, u f'dan il-ġnien kien hemm qabar ġdid li fih kienu għadhom ma difnu lil ħadd. [Ġw:19:42] Hemm qiegħdu lil Ġesù, għax kien Jum it-Tħejjija għal-Lhud, u għax il-qabar kien fil-qrib.
Jonathan Edwards explained this so well when he wrote:
Edwards again noted: The excellencies of Jesus Christ are often in [the Song of Songs] compared to the very same spices with which that holy oil was perfumed, and the name of Christ may most fitly [be] compared to this most precious and holy ointment that was appointed on purpose to represent that grace that he is full of and is the fountain of.
This may seem somewhat tangential until we read the same symbolism in Proverbs 7:17. An intertextual reading of the two passages leads us to safely conclude that the fragrant aroma of Christ (Ps. 45:9) is intentionally being contrasted with the fragrant aroma of the adulterous woman of Proverbs 7:17-18 (i.e. the personification of evil). In an article I previously wrote,* I sought to explain the connection between the two passages in the following way:
This account is reminiscent of the Lukan record of the sinful woman who came to Jesus and washed His feet with her hair and tears (Luke 7:36-50). There, Luke tells us that she “brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil” and that she “she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.”
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How Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus Risked All to Give Jesus An Honourable Burialhttp://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Wagner15.html
As a crucified criminal in the eyes of the Law, what kind of burial do you suppose Jesus of Nazareth would normally have received?
His body would probably have been thrown into a common grave set apart for criminals. It would be risky to ask for the body of a crucified criminal so that the deceased could be given a proper burial. For anyone to obtain such a corpse, permission would have to be granted by the proper authorities, but it could be dangerous to ask for that permission.
Two influential Jewish leaders were willing to take that risk. One of these men was the wealthy and honourable Joseph of Arimathea. He had not agreed with the other religious leaders to put Jesus to death. After Jesus died on the cross, Joseph courageously approached Governor Pilate and begged that Jesus' body be given to him. Pilate granted his request.
There was another secret disciple who risked his reputation that afternoon. His name was Nicodemus. Once one night, before this sorrowful day, he had privately interviewed Jesus under cover of darkness -- perhaps for fear of being observed.
Joseph of Arimathea owned a new tomb he probably planned to use himself. That is where he and Nicodemus placed the body of Jesus. Nicodemus brought a mixture of about 100 pounds of expensive myrrh and aloes to use to prepare Jesus' body for burial. Myrrh is a type of gum resin that acts as a kind of glue. Aloes is a sweet-smelling oil used for medicinal purposes, as a fragrance, and to use to bury the dead.
The two men worked together spreading this mixture between the encircling layers of a long linen cloth purchased by Joseph. They wrapped the fabric around and around His body until it was completely sealed with the fabric cocoon and perfumed resin. They also wrapped an additional cloth around his head. After they were satisfied they had properly prepared Jesus' body for burial, Joseph rolled a large stone over the cave's opening.
These men publicly declared they were Jesus' friends! Their last act of love for Him is recorded in the Gospels. They both risked their reputations and more to give their Friend a proper burial.
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus could not have known at the time that they were participating in the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy from the book of Isaiah. Here is the Scripture telling about the Messiah written over 600 hundred years before Jesus' crucifixion:
"But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave." (Isaiah 53:8b-9, NLT).
To their great joy, Jesus did not remain in Joseph's tomb for long! He rose from the dead three days later and is alive forever!
Today too it's risky standing up for Jesus, but His true friends are willing to pay the price through God's grace.
And they will never be sorry!
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Jesus Wants You to Waste Your Life
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 (John 12:3).Judas simply could not fathom Mary’s ridiculous decision.
During dinner she had just dumped all that rare perfume on Jesus’ feet! Almost a year’s wages now puddled on the dirty floor. Completely wasted!
“Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
How noble. But Judas wasn’t concerned for the poor. “He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief and being in charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it” (John 12:6). Judas was concerned for Judas.
Both Mary and Judas had hedonistic motives. Neither was driven by stoic duty. Both pursued the treasure they believed would make them happy. To Mary, Jesus was the priceless Pearl (Matthew 13:45). She wanted that Pearl more than anything. To Judas, thirty pieces of silver was a fair price for the Pearl.
Judas’s sin wasn’t that he wanted happiness. His sin was believing that having money would make him happier than having Christ.
O Judas, the tragedy of your value miscalculation! The Pearl worth more than the entire universe sat in front of you and all you could see were perfume puddles. You grieved a year’s wages while squandering infinite, eternal treasure!
Jesus leads all his disciples to watershed moments like Mary’s and Judas’. They are designed to make us count this cost: “Whoever loves his life loses it. And whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25). These moments force us choose what we really believe is gain. And the choices we make reveal whether we value the Pearl or puddles.
If we choose the Pearl, we hear in Judas the world’s appraisal of us. They watch as time, intellects, money, youth, financial futures, and vocations are poured out on Jesus’ feet. They watch them puddle on the floors of churches, mission fields, orphanages, and homes where children are raised and careers are lost. And what they see is foolish waste. Do not expect their respect.
Jesus wants you to waste your life like Mary wasted her perfume. For it is no true waste. It is true worship. A poured out life of love for Jesus that counts worldly gain as loss displays how precious he really is. It preaches to a bewildered, disdainful world that Christ is gain and the real waste is gaining the world’s perfumes and losing one’s soul in the process (Matthew 16:26).
So, in what way are you wasting your life today?