By: Darrelyn L. Tutt"Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom He raised from the dead. Therefore they made Him a supper, and Martha served; but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odor of ointment. Then said one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray Him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, 'Let her alone; against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you, but Me ye have not always.' Much people of the Jews therefore knew that He was there; and they came not for Jesus sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead."John 12:1-9------When Jesus restores, renews, and reclaims a life, everything changes.For Lazarus the act was physical:the raising of life from the dead.Resurrected power enacted and visibly displayed.+I wonder what it must have been like for Lazarus to enjoy a meal and conversation with Jesus after he had been given back his earthly life?+I wonder at the depth of love and gratitude Lazarus must have felt for Jesus in returning him the love of his two sisters.+I wonder at the joy it must have given Martha to serve Jesus a meal in expression of her deep gratitude for restoring her brother's life?+I wonder at Mary's beautiful attempts to pour expressive love out on the feet of Jesus in response to the return of her beloved brother Lazarus. I love the show of open and extravagant love displayed on Jesus by these siblings.I love the ways each of these individuals expressed their personal and provoking love and gratitude to Jesus.No two acts of love look the same;each is uniquely identified and expressed by the giver.This is the nature of love at its best, is it not?Lives that are reborn, renewed, restored and reclaimed simply rejoice and respond accordingly in thankfulness to Jesus for what He has done for them.This is beautiful.-------But for Judas ... my heart weeps.Governed by the dictates of a padded wallet, he forsook relationship and redemption and lost himself for an eternity. His "feigned" response at his "care" for the poor was known at the core by the heart of Jesus, who issued a full reprimand in response.Did Judas feel sad about himself in that moment of reprimand, or just angry, embarrassed, and arrogant?Hmmm ... -Pity the man who pretends and feigns something that he is not; who prefers position and financial status over redemptive rights with God. -Pray for the man who is set to lose his eternity for a temporal season of favorability here on earth.-------If you've experienced a rebirth, renewing, restoring, reclaiming, or rejuvenation of soul from Jesus, my friend, love Him extravagantly, openly, and decidedly this Easter season.Instead of giving up "stuff," give yourself "more" to Him+Pour out your love to Him in open and expressive ways.+Serve Him joyfully and verbally.+Display gratitude in your activity and attitude for all He's done for you and all He means to you.Pay absolutely NO attention to the naysayers, guilt conveyors, or those caught up in narrowing you to the small definings of their limited understanding. Jesus knows the whole;love with your all ...Six Days Before.-------THREE STUDY EMPOWERMENTS1) Read John 12 and revel in the beauty of responsive love.As we shoulder with individuals who love deeply, we love at deeper levels ourselves.Study these beautiful siblings.-----2) Are you openly expressing your love to Jesus in an unashamed way or do you hide your expressions for Him out of embarrasement and what others might think?What is the most creative way you've expressed your love to Jesus?Is anything or anyone preventing you from a pure act?Get to the heart of this matter and show Jesus and the world your true "you."-----3) Who are the individuals in your life that cause you to love Jesus and others at a deeper level? What makes them different?What and who helps you to love?Six More Days ...------
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