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Thoughts and Commentary on today's reading:In today's reading, I suppose the one point which most jumped out to me was one I've considered many times... the story of Mary Magdalene anointing the Saviour's Feet. What a story! I've been blessed, in the past, by looking at a variety of elements in it - the principle that he (or she) who is forgiven much will love much, the role of Messiah in Spiritual warfare (casting out seven devils from Mary)... etc...
Well, today, I decided to look into the spiritual significance of spikenard. Have you ever wondered why Mary chose that particular ointment to anoint the Messiah's Feet? Surely it couldn't just have been a random oil, chosen only for its lovely scent. Mary was the only one who had the privilege of anointing our Saviour before His Death. And if the Gospel writers bother to tell us what oil she used, it's because it's important to know. There is meaning to be found... And I wasn't disappointed. Here's what I discovered about the spiritual significance of spikenard, shedding light on why Mary chose it.
We've read Luke's account of Mary anointing the Saviour's Feet... Well, here's the story from John:
Spikenard is an expensive spice which comes from a very rare plant - the Nardostachys jatamansi, which is a flowering plant of the Valerian family. It grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China, and India. So, it would have had to have been imported at great cost and over quite a distance.
"Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus (Yahshua), and wiped His Feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment." — John 12:3
Spikenard, also called nard, nardin, and muskroot, is a class of aromatic amber-colored essential oil derived from Nardostachys jatamansi, a flowering plant of the Valerian family which grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China, and India. Spikenard was carried from the region of the Himalayas over the Silk Road, over 4000 miles, to Jerusalem. No wonder it cost a "king's ransom" to buy this special ointment!
The word “spikenard” in Hebrew is Nard and means “light.” In Greek, the word for “spikenard” means “genuine and pure.” No wonder, just days before His death and burial, Mary chose spikenard to anoint Jesus (Yahshua), Who was the Light of the world- the pure and spotless Lamb.
"I am come a Light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness," — John 12:46.
By anointing the Saviour with spikenard, Mary was revealing a tremendous depth of understanding - both of Who Jesus (Yahshua) really was, and also of Who He was to her - personally. This woman, who had formerly been possessed by seven devils, but whom the Saviour had set free, was gratefully washing His Feet with her tears and with the perfect anointing oil:
"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," — John 1:29
- one that had come from so far and it cost a king's ransom - for He had come from so far to provide Salvation - and WAS the King's Ransom.
- one that was from a plant which is a natural herb for lifting pain (Valerian is a natural painkiller) - for He had blessed her so deeply, healing her soul from the pain of demonic possession.
- one that was named for "light" - for He was the Light of the World and the one Who had enlightened her personal darkness.
- one that was named for "purity" - for He was the spotless Lamb of God, Who had come to die for her sins, for yours, and for mine.
Yes, Mary's choice of spikenard was absolutely the perfect gift - the perfect response - to the Messiah. But did you know that it was also a fulfillment of a Messianic prophecy? Solomon prophesied a thousand years earlier of this momentous event. Song of Solomon 1:12 says,
In this verse, the King is sitting, which is symbolic of His finished work at Calvary. He is inviting His Bride to come and join Him at the Marriage Supper feast. The bride’s fragrance emanates out of her spirit in worship and adoration for the King’s provision. This is the kind of lavish love and adoration which each of us should freely render unto our Heavenly King. Truly, he who is forgiven much -loves much.
“While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.”
Do you realize just how much He has done for you? If so, you can join Mary in seeking powerful ways to worship and honor Him - like Mary with her spikenard anointing.