“While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.” (Mark 14:3)
We are told in verse three that Mary “broke the jar”. You see, the alabaster box, in order to preserve its contents, would have been sealed. The only way to get to the rich contents, the perfume, would be to break the box.
Only out of the brokenness of the container could come the benefit and beauty of what it contained.
I was thinking about this. If someone is thirsty, a bunch of grapes or an orange is not going to do much. In order for the refreshing juice of those grapes or oranges to be enjoyed, what’s going to have to happen? The grapes are going to have to be crushed! The orange rind is going to have to be pierced and the fruit squeezed!
When I reflect on this, I remember Isaiah 53:5:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
It was only in the breaking of the Alabaster box that those present could benefit from its contents. Likewise, with our Lord Jesus Christ. It would only be in his crushing; in the breaking of his body; in the spilling of his blood that all humankind would be able to benefit from it.
The beauty, the healing and the aroma that came forth from a broken piece of pottery provide for us a wonderful picture of the beauty and the healing that would come as a result of a broken Saviour!
(Extract from the Book - "Pictures of the Passion: A Visual Journey to Calvary" by Wayne George. Print version as well as e-Book available for purchase from Amazon).