Most of us know the story of the woman anointing Jesus. It's found in John 12:1-9, Matthew 26:1-13 and Mark 14:1-9. John's account gives us the most detail, and it's there that we see the woman is Mary, Martha's sister. Mary, Lazarus' sister. Mary, the woman who chose to worship rather then be distracted than by trying to do more than was necessary.
Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. ~John 12:3
I can't help but wonder how long the fragrance lingered in Simon the Leper's home? How many people smelled the perfume on Jesus? In John 12:9 it says there was a large crowd there to see both Jesus and the resurrected Lazarus--did they smell the perfume? How could they not if they were anywhere near Jesus?
When Mary poured out her precious perfume on Jesus, she did what she could. She gave her best to the One she loved most. Mary openly declared her devotion to Jesus, not caring who would know or see. As she poured out her love on Jesus, her gift probably splashed over onto her—physically and I'm sure spiritually, too. Not only would Jesus have carried the scent with Him when He left the house, but Mary would have also. Her life was fragrant with her love for Jesus.
According to John's account, this event happened about a week before Jesus was crucified. The perfume Mary used was very pure and of a high quality and I wonder how long the fragrance lingered on Jesus? Could Pilate and Herod smell it, even vaguely, when He stood before them? Was that scent burned on their memory, haunting them every time they smelled it? So many memories are associated with smell. How often were the apostles pulled back to those days leading up to Christ's crucifixion because they smelled the nard that was used for burials?
Jesus willingly poured out and gave His life for us on the cross when He died in our place and for our sins. How can we do any less than our best for Him? How can we consider anything too precious to give Him?
When we follow Mary's example and do what we can—when we give wholeheartedly to Jesus, our lives are touched and carry the fragrance of being with the Savior. Those times that we give Him the leftovers of our best, the leftovers of our time and efforts, are like a bad odor, a stench even, compared to the precious fragrance of giving our all to Him.
Jesus gave His life out of love for us. Let's anoint Him with our best and make Him the anointed One of our lives—out of love for Him.