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3. The Shrouding of Christ
(Matthew 26:6-13)
6And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,7a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.8But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?9For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”10But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.11For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.12For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.13Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” (Luke7:36-50, John12:1-8, Deuteronomy15:11)

Kings, chief priests, and prophets were anointed to symbolize the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to fulfill their heavenly duty. In the same way, the sister of Lazarus, Mary, was moved by the Holy Spirit to pour fragrant oil on Christ’s body to anoint Him. Christ was the true anointed One in whom dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This anointing for death was in harmony with His Father’s will. It was accomplished through the sacrifice of a woman who generously gave the treasure of her life to glorify the beloved Messiah.
We should take heed of considering anything a waste that is bestowed upon the Lord Jesus, either by others or by ourselves. Time spent in His service and money spent in His work is not wasted. Although it seems to be cast upon the waters, we shall gainfully find it again after many days (Ecclesiastes 11:1).
The disciples thought the ointment poured upon His head was wasted. But He said to them, “If much ointment were poured upon a dead body, according to the custom of your country, you would not complain or think it a waste.” The body she anoints is as good as dead, and her affection is very expressive for that reason. Therefore, it should be considered a preparation for His death rather than a waste.
Christ’s disciples said the fragrant oil should have been sold and the money given to the hungry and poor. However, Christ praised Mary’s kindness with divine commendation. He made her service known worldwide as a proper preparation for His crucifixion and burial.

Lord Jesus, We praise You because You allowed the woman to anoint You with the precious oil as an anointing for Your substitutionary death for us approaching Your burial. We thank You because You cut Your disciples to the heart when they looked at the very costly fragrant oil but did not understand that Your hour was coming. You have revealed to us that we have the poor with us always, and urge us to serve them in Your name. You also died for them, but they neither knew nor understood this. Guide us to help them with prudence in the guidance of the Holy Spirit that they may be filled with Your kindness and love and serve whosoever wants to be served.
What is meant by the phrase, “You have the poor with you always”?