Title: Anointing Christ
Theme: Truths in the Triumphal Entry
Series: Easter Season Messages
Listen as I read John 12:1-13, “Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with Him. Then Mary took about a pint of... an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. ...Jesus said, ‘It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of My burial. ...Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of Him but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. ...The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting, ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Blessed is the King of Israel!’ Let us pray!
Introduction: There are many truths worth grasping as we take time to take a Biblical examination of the “Triumphal Entry.” We see Lazarus enjoying fellowship with Christ after being raised from the dead. We see Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet, growing in grace and knowledge of the Son of God as well as Martha serving, exercising her gift of hospitality. This Biblical account gives us some essentials for the Body of Christ.
Proposition: I would propose to you that when Christians grasp the truth of Jesus Christ being King as well as Savior they want to live a life that says, "Hosanna, Blessed is he comes in the Name of the Lord!" Anointing Jesus as the king of their lives."
Interrogative Sentence: Just what are truths to proclaiming Jesus Christ as the King to whom everyone someday will bow their knee to and every tongue will confess that He is the Lord? (Philippians 2:9-10)
Transitional Sentence: A life that proclaims, “Hosanna,” proclaims Christ is Messiah. John 1:41 says, “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him 'We have found the Messiah'” (that is, the Christ)…” Andrew’s actions reflect a Holy Spirit illuminated heart about Jesus Christ being the Savior and the “Anointed King” (2 Samuel 7:12-13). It is imperative that Christians understand that “Messiah” (Hebrew - masiyah) and “Christ” (Christos) means “Anointed one.” (The Complete Word Study Bible)
Our key text tells of a women, Mary, took expensive perfume, and anointed Jesus' feet. The house they were in was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. Mary’s love was extravagant, she took the most precious thing she possessed and spent it on Christ. Extravagant love has no nicely laid out cost. It gives its all and the only regret is that there is not more to give. It is sacrificial giving, just as God did for us when He gave His One only Son and when Jesus gave His own life for us. Mary’s love showed humility. She came to her Lord as a servant, meeting His need in humble servant-hood fashion. Christians who anoint Christ as their King serve in a way that keeps Him on the throne of their heart, not in a way that exalts themselves.
In Luke we read of another time when Jesus received a personal anointing. It was when Jesus was having dinner at a Pharisee’s house. While having dinner, an unnamed woman, deep in humiliation for her sins comes and wets His feet with her tears. She wipes them with her hair, kisses His feet and pours perfume on them. It is very possible she had become convicted of her past sins while Jesus taught somewhere and at this time she longed to be in His presence to show the Lord her affection. Jesus said she loved much and He told Simon, “…her many sins have been forgiven… ” Jesus told the woman, “…your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:47) He also told her “Your faith has saved you, go in peace.” (Luke 7:50) As we read the Biblical account of the sinful woman anointing Jesus, we see a repentant sinner entirely devoting this task to the Lord’s honor owning Him to be the “Messiah,” “the Christ,” “the Anointed.”
In the days of Christ, it was the custom to wash the feet of the guest, because the dry dusty ground and the walking caused a person's feet to swell and get hot. Frequent washing of the feet is not only a luxury, but a necessity for comfort and health. Washing the feet of a traveler or guest in the home was just as important as feeding them when they were hungry, or giving them a place to rest when they are tired. Not to do so would be discourteous and even insulting. Mary in the Book of John and the sinful woman in Luke, washed Jesus feet by extravagant means, because they knew who He was and they wanted to express their love to Him.
William Barclay shared the "Story about Della and Jim, who were very poor, yet much in love. Della had long beautiful hair, Jim had a watch, at one time belonged to his father. When Christmas time came around they both were short of funds. Della sold her hair to buy a expensive chain for Jim’s watch. Jim sold his watch to get a set of expensive combs with jeweled edges for Della’s hair. The extravagant sacrifice of what was dear to them was only an expression of their love for each other."
Christians proclaim "Hosanna, Christ is the king of their lives and the One they serve" by the way they exercise their Spiritual gifts, use their God given talents, and minister to those around them. At key times in their lives, they extravagantly give their all and their only regret, is to whish they could have gave more.
Transitional Sentence: Christians, at times, extravagantly show love to the Lord and they proclaim "Hosanna" through their obedience to Him. In the Book of Romans, we read, "But thanks be to God, though you use to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted." (Romans 6:17)
A contemporary commentator observed that every person obeys some person or something. The whole of Scripture teaches that everyone is a bond-servant to someone or something. It may be the flesh, the world or the devil. Hopefully you are a bond-servant to God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Your master is easily determined by what or who you are obedient to.
There is no possibility of living without an allegiance to someone, something, or some ideology. You have either made it your purpose to obey the flesh, the world view, the lies of the devil or Jesus Christ.
If you do not think the flesh controls you or at least calls you to it's will, just work yourself up to three day water only fast. You be awakened in the middle of the night, your flesh will let you know clearly it's demands. If you think the sinful flesh does not seek to control our lives, just have someone audio tape our speech or video tape our life around the clock for about a week. I am thinking we may be a little embarrassed by what we would see, if it was shown the big screen in the church service.
When we allow a born again theologian compare our thinking, life decisions and actions to the whole counsel to the Word of God. We would be shocked to see how much a world view has crept into or even determines the directions of our lives.
The devil is a master at attacking our faith and minds, this is why he is so successful causing distrust, unfaithfulness, and backsliding in the Body of Christ. He is real, the Bible says he is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
"Dr. Jay Vernon McGee was serving as pastor in a church in Los Angeles. Across the street from the church was a swanky club that was attended by some very rich men. The people who belonged to that club spent thousands of dollars to be a part of that society and they usually owned chauffeur driven Cadillac's.
One day Pastor McGee notice several cars in front of club with about fifteen chauffeurs standing around. In a little while a very nice-looking wealthy young man came out of the club; he made a motion and spoke out. One chauffeur responded, he went to the car and opened the door, then went and got in the drivers door and drove off. As Pastor McGee watched, he discovered that it was easy to see that the other fourteen chauffeurs were not employed by that rich young man, because they did not respond to his call. The one who responded was obedient to his employer."
The Christian World Pulpit, quoted MacDonald, as he stressed in a sermon, "It is obedience, and not just comprehension that matters. We become the sons and daughters of God by being obedient to His will and learn obedience to God through our human relationships." (Heritage of great evangelical teaching : featuring the best of Martin Luther, John Wesley, Dwight L. Moody, C.H. Spurgeon and others. (1997). Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
The writer of the Book of Deuteronomy gives God perspective on obedience, "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a cruse - the blessing if you by obey the commands of the Lord your God... the cruse if you disobey the commands of the Lord..." (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)
"If we obey God's Word from the heart, He will bless us and our labors; but if we disobey Him, He will send a cruse and chasten us. Obedience is the key to happiness." (Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament (Dt 10:12–11:32). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books)
Oswald Chambers wrote, "One step forward in obedience is worth years of study about it." (Our Daily Bread, March 4, 1993)
"I've read that when Edward VI, the king of England in the 16th century, attended a worship service, he stood while the Word of God was read. He took notes during the sermon and later study them with great care. Through the week he earnestly tried to apply them to his life. That is the kind of serious-minded response to truth the apostle James calls for. A single revealed fact cherished in the heart and acted upon is more vital to our spiritual growth than a head filled with lofty ideas about God" (Source Unknown - Galaxie Software. (2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press)
In Closing: Anointing Christ begins with living extravagantly for the Lord in all He has called us to do and walking in obedience to the whole council of God's Word. When they waved psalm branches and cried "Hosanna" there were three groups of people in the crowd. One, the Passover visitors from outside of Judea, (John 12:12,18); two, the local people who had witness or at least heard about the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 12:19); and three, the religious leaders who were greatly concerned about what the world was doing with Jesus. (John 12:19)
Most, at that time had selfish motives in their praises. We are to live a life that proclaims, "...Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you" (Psalm 118:26)
We do not know the individual heart of each person who waved psalm branches and shouted "Hosanna" as Christ made His way into Jerusalem. What is imperative today, what is in your heart? Does our lives, words, and actions, cry out "Hosanna," blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Does our lives reflect the heart of the Psalmist who wrote, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
Let us pray!