One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, so Jesus went into the Pharisee’s house and sat at the table. A sinful woman in the town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house. So she brought an alabaster jar of perfume and stood behind Jesus at his feet, crying. She began to wash his feet with her tears, and she dried them with her hair, kissing them many times and rubbing them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who asked Jesus to come to his house saw this, he thought to himself, “If Jesus were a prophet, he would know that the woman touching him is a sinner!” Â Â Â Luke 7:36-39 (NCV)
Jesus does know who is touching Him. When I cry out to God, when I reach out to hold His hand, when He puts His arms around me and holds me tenderly and fiercely, Jesus knows just who He is touching. I am a sinner. I am a sinner who is touched by His perfect grace.
It is often thought that this â€œsinful womanâ€ was a prostitute. â€œBigâ€ sin. â€œDirtyâ€ sin. Do I think the â€œkindâ€ of sin matters to God? If it did, I’m thinking that the sins that steal His glory or misrepresent Him or injure one of His children would be BIG to Him! (See Proverbs 6:16-19 for the things God hates. Sexual sins, including prostitution and homosexuality isn’t listed but pride and lying are! Ouch.)
What my sin is becomes secondary to the fact that I am a sinner who can do nothing to save myself. And that is what Jesus came to do. Living with sinners, touching sinners, dying for sinners. Dying for me.
I remember the night that Jesus touched me so vividly. Every time I remember it, I weep in gratitude and joy. I had never felt such unconditional love before. In those moments, I more than saw and felt Jesus. We were one. I wanted to draw back for an instant because I knew how unworthy and disgusting I was in His presence. But I also knew what Jesus was thinking and feeling â€“ and it was nothing but love. I needed Him and He was there. Maybe you’ve had such an experience.
Another friend of mine has told me that she has always known the sweetness and beauty of Jesus’ love. It has always been a part of her life. But she also says that she has times that help her to understand my experience when she feels the weight of her sin and then Jesus comes and forgives and that intimate relationship is restored.
And so I am thinking about my Alabaster Box today. It is filled with all my thanks and praises. There are â€œmomentsâ€ of thanks and â€œfireworksâ€ of praises. I don’t want to hoard my praise but let it run over like tears run down my face. Let’s not solemnly hand our Savior a pretty box with a pretty bow but let us open our hearts and allow our love to spill out, unconditionally, just as His love spilled out on us.
The Alabaster Box written by Janice Sjostran and sung by CeCe Winans