"There came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment
of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on His
head... And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought
a good work on Me... she is come aforehand to anoint My body to the burying."
(Mark 14:3, 8)
we continue to explore the Breaker arising within a people, let us consider
this beautiful prophetic illustration of the Breaker at work in our
lives. The most obvious aspect of this account is the breaking and pouring,
but let's look at the setting of the story for a moment. According to
the text, it was just before a major Feast wherein all were to make
the journey and appear before the Lord in Jerusalem; "After two days
was the feast of the Passover, and of unleavened bread..." (Mark 14:1)
, "Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. Thou shalt
keep the feast of unleavened bread..." (Exodus 23:14-15), "Three times
in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the
place which he shall choose..." (Deut. 16:16)
where do we find Jesus at this crucial time of preparation before the
Feast, and also this crucial time in His life and ministry, as He is
to be crucified in just a few days? Rather than in the midst of all
the hustle and bustle of religious activity in Jerusalem, we find Him
outside of Jerusalem in the village of Bethany. Seen from a distance,
the village of Bethany has been described as "remarkably beautiful,
the perfection of retirement and repose, of seclusion and lovely peace."
(Easton's Bible Dictionary) Bethany means 'house of dates' in Hebrew,
and of course dates and figs were some of the primary fruits of that
region. Perhaps the presence of the Lord in our lives is to be found
outside of the busyness of religion, in a fruitful place of rest...
resting in the knowledge that "the works were finished from the foundation
of the world." (Heb. 4:3)
fruitful place of rest is also in a place that most people would not
deem as desirable though... "in the house of Simon the leper." (Mark
14:3) Leprosy, just the thought of it sounds awful, and in literal reality
it is a tragic disease. In the spiritual application, I have always
heard it preached in the negative sense, equating leprosy with the effects
of sin. This is certainly a common and valid interpretation, but for
our purposes here, let's look at it in a different light for a moment.
I am by no means an authority on the subject of medicine and disease,
but it is my primitive understanding that leprosy begins with specks
on the eyelids and on the palms (Easton's Bible Dictionary) and some
of the symptoms of leprosy cause one to lose sensitivity or feeling
in the externals of the body and causes a loss of flesh as it works
inward to the bones. In addition to the traditional interpretation,
could this also conversely be a picture of the workings of the Spirit
within us? A picture as He removes the veil from our eyes (eyelids)
to reveal who we really are in Spirit, that we are the apple of His
eye (Zech. 2:8), that He has indeed graven us upon the palms of His
hands. (Isaiah 49:16) As we begin to really SEE who we are in Christ,
we lose sensitivity or feelings for the external things in life and
the flesh-life erodes from our character. This happens in the 'house
of Simon'; the name Simon means 'hearing', it is from the word shama
which means 'to hear intelligently.' Yes, we must hear and understand
who the Father says we are; "For He hath made Hm to be sin for us, who
knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
(2 Cor. 5:21) Let us venture out from the busyness of religion to the
place of rest in Him, where we lose our affections for the externals
of the flesh-life, hearing only the word of destiny that the Lord has
spoken concerning us.
"There came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard
very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on His head..."
(Mark 14:3, 8) Alabaster is a beautiful stone that resembles marble,
but is softer in its texture, and hence very easily wrought into boxes
or vials for containers. These boxes or vials were then filled with
varieties of oils and sealed until their time of use. So when it says
'she brake the box', it is most likely speaking of breaking the seal
to open the container, rather than actually breaking the alabaster,
which would be difficult at best and quite messy if successful.
So many are content to be 'alabaster boxes' containing the fragrant
ointment of Christ (Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col. 1:27), believing
that their destiny is to be attractive vessels in the Kingdom. Beautiful
and costly as it may have been, would there be any mention in the Scripture
of the woman and the alabaster box, had it not been broken open and
poured out? Would we have even known what was really inside the alabaster
box, had it not been broken open and poured out? What if the alabaster
box had been empty? Herein lies the key, for it was the ointment on
the inside that was costly and precious... and so it is with us.
The seal of our understanding must be broken that we can comprehend
how costly and precious is the Ointment (Christ) within us, and that
there is only TRUE value as the Ointment is poured out! "And there were
some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this
waste of the ointment made? (Mark 14:4) It would seem from His words
that Jesus ascribes little value to the ointment as long as it is kept
within the alabaster box; "And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble
ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me." (Mark 14:6) Again, so it
is with us, the Ointment, the anointing (Christ) within us is NOT just
to be stored up for us personally, rather it is the very purpose of
the anointing to be poured out.
How many times have we prayed, "Lord, I want more of You!" It is my
belief that we already have all of Him we're going to get. "And of His
fulness have all we received..." (John 1:16); "...the church, Which
is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all." (Eph. 1:22-23);
"...that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Eph. 3:19)
The key to the abundant Life is not receiving more of Him, rather it
is pouring out that which is already within. "For IN Him dwelleth all
the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete IN Him." (Col.
2:9-10) The only way the Ointment can be poured out is by breaking the
seal of our understanding, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so IS he."
(Prov. 23:7) Yes, our perception and understanding of who we are determines
what or Who we manifest. If my perception is that I am a needy and empty
vessel (which I am in Adam), then I will have difficulty in pouring
out the Ointment (Christ) upon others. I must understand that I am no
longer IN Adam, I am now IN Christ, my life is hidden In Him, I am complete
in Him, and I am filled with His fullness... all this for the purpose
of pouring out the Ointment (Christ) within us.
"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the
time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."
(Daniel 12:4) I believe that this is that day spoken of in Daniel, the
'time of the end'- not as in a cessation or stopping, but rather the
'end' as a completion, understanding we are complete in Him. This is
a day of the seal being broken and the 'book being opened' and words
of truth gushing forth. When that verse says 'many shall run to and
fro', the Hebrew meaning is to push forth, to press onward. That, my
friend, is exactly what is happening today as apostles, prophets, and
regular folks like you and I are pressing forward in revelation and
understanding... truly, the knowledge of who we already are in Christ
is being increased!
"She is come aforehand to anoint My body to the burying." (Mark 14:8)
I don't know that the woman necessarily thought of her act as an anointing
for burial, for her it was more than likely an act of worship. Jesus
certainly saw it as an anointing for burial though. I find it interesting
that the eloquent language of this verse almost totally cloaks one of
the primary reasons for anointing with the spikenard. Normally this
anointing was done AFTER a person had died, as we can read of in Mark
16:1, "And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother
of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come
and anoint him." Spikenard was very aromatic, and as we can read of
in John 11:39, something happens to a body after the person is deceased;
"By this time he STINKETH: for he hath been dead four days." Obviously
the body of Jesus did not experience any corruption, but I believe there
is a prophetic picture here for us.
You see, as the Breaker (Christ) arises within us, breaking the seals
of our understanding, there is a death that occurs as we let go of old
paradigms and mentalities, and sometimes between the Second Day and
the Third Day things can get pretty stinky! Thus, the reason for the
Ointment! It is the fragrance of the anointing of Christ that sees us
through as the 'tomb' of old paradigms we have buried becomes a 'womb'
to birth a manchild.
Also let us remember that this Ointment, this anointing must be poured
out. Some may try to embrace Third Day concepts mentally without pouring
them out via a lifestyle of understanding that we are dead in Christ,
we don't have any rights to a life of our own, and it is His Life being
lived through us. Getting puffed up in knowledge and head-revelation
with no REVEALation can be pretty stinky also (been there, done that,
got the T-shirt too)! Then all you have is a religious looking alabaster
box that's no good to anybody.
"She brake the box, and poured it on His head..." (Mark 14:3) Yes, she
poured it on His head, and He is "the head over all things to the church,
which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all." (Eph.
1:22-23) That SAME anointing that is upon the Head flows down to the
body, which is you and I. As Cathy Walker, one of my favorite songwriters,
so aptly states it in her song entitled 'The Whole House Is Anointed'-
"From the Head, Flowing downAnointing oil brings heaven down'Til every
part reveals His heartAs he mingles our lives, We bring forth the fragrant
"The whole House is anointed, gathered into OneThe hand of the Apothecary
blends Head-spice into OneO the whole House is anointed, gathered into
OneThe hand of the Apothecary rubs His compound into the Son".
(Copyright 1998 Cathy Walker- www.CathyW.com)
Let us press forward in revelation, allowing the Breaker to arise within
us, breaking the seal of our understanding that the Ointment (Christ)
within us may be poured out... that we may see BREAKTHROUGH in the heavens
and on earth, that the nations be gathered to Him!
Permission from Doug Fortune