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A Forgotten Memorial – Death

March 30, 2009

“She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.” (v8)

One of the features of the story of Jesus outlined for us in the gospels is how so often when Jesus tries to speak of his impending death, his (male) disciples try to disabuse him of the notion.

How does anyone gather up the courage to begin the conversation of death and burial with a loved one who is still alive.

In this story however, a woman dares to face the painful truth of his death. She engages Jesus in a deeply intimate act of touch, of skin to skin, of deep sacrifice.

She enters into the death conversation and acknowledges the reality and inevitability of the parting. He will die and she anoints him. She faces the hard reality which the men won’t face.

I wonder was there a part of Jesus that longed for this human connection. This news of his death was not just some dry, distant consideration, a teaching moment. This was very personal yet he seems alone in it to this point.

The woman blesses Jesus by her action and faces the human truth of death with him. Nobody else does this.

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From → Formation, Gospels

2 Comments
  1. asharedadventure permalink

    I hadn’t thought of the woman’s act as facing the truth of Jesus death with him before. It highlights it as a much more deeply significant event, how beautiful her actions now appear in the level of comfort they must have brought Jesus. In contrast it brings to mind the lack of connectedness and comfort from the sleepy disciples in the garden of Gethsemane.

  2. I wonder Joanne, whether after all his direct teaching on his impending death and resurrection this woman was the only one who took the literal truth and helped stiffen his backbone for it all. The disciples, like Peter, refused to accept. And this is her symbolic action in response to it.

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