He Isn’t Here!

Would you prefer to receive flowers when you can enjoy them or spread them out across your casket after you’re gone? I would wager that most of us want to give and receive them now while we can see the person’s reaction and smile. At least, that is my preference. I have often said, if you cannot give me flowers while I am here – don’t bother after I am gone.

When Mary, sister to Martha and Lazarus, poured expensive oil over Jesus’ feet from an alabaster jar, she received havoc from the disciples for wasting it (Mark 14:3, ESV). Jesus scolds them for getting on to her and tells them she has anointed Him in preparation for burial. I’ve read this passage many times, but what stood out most recently is the word Jesus uses when he responds – BEFORE my burial (v 8).

I see the alabaster jar and its expensive nard, symbolic of Jesus’ body and blood that was broken and spilled for us; what a precious gift that was and still is something to be cherished. We should be as generous as Mary and give our very best to Christ and others as Christ commands us while they are still alive to receive it.

We also see Jesus washing the disciples’ feet before He goes to the cross (John 13:14, ESV). This act served as a humble example for them to follow. Being humble does not mean you think less of yourself, but you think of yourself less. In Luke 6:31, Jesus tells the disciples that if they want someone to do something for them, they take the initiative and do it first for others. Otherwise known as the Golden Rule.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity in a leadership class to do an exercise where I asked my family and friends to give me a one-word description of myself. Then you ask why they chose that word. I highly recommend this – not so you can solicit (hopefully) kind remarks, but to hear them before you are gone. Please do it for someone else as well. So many times, we don’t take the time to tell someone how we feel before it is too late.

Your challenge this week during Holy Week is to look for ways to show Christ’s love for you to someone before they are gone. What small acts of kindness in love can you do for someone?

I will leave you with this Good News: “He isn’t here! He is RISEN…” (Matt. 28:5, ESV emphasis mine). Celebrate that this week by showing kindness and love to others as a gift to Jesus because whatever we do for others, we are doing for Christ (Matt. 25:40, ESV).

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