Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary 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 odour of the ointment. Then saith 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.John 12:1-8
In this passage we see a natural anointing of Jesus in preparation for His natural death He was to suffer. There are some spiritual parallels we can see and draw some illumination from.
First, Jesus was only anointed after He had made the commitment to die physically. Only dead people get the anointing. Christ had already been anointed spiritually at the start of His earthly ministry. When He came out of the water, He was anointed by the Holy Spirit for service to God and others. The spiritual anointing of God, the Holy Spirit, is only for dead people. People that are crucified with Christ and buried with Him by baptism into death. People that no longer trust in themselves, but entrust all things to the Father through faith in Jesus Christ.
Second, the physical anointing was very costly. In the natural, it was worth a year’s wages. It was a great sacrifice for Mary to anoint Jesus this way. Likewise, the spiritual anointing of the Holy Spirit came at great price. It took the death and resurrection of Christ before Christ could send the promised comforter back to earth on the day of Pentecost. The anointing will cost you everything that you are. One must die to self and follow the will of the Father in order to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Third, the thief, the devil, will try to steal the anointing from you. Satan will attempt to get you to go back to trusting in yourself and living for yourself. He wants you to grieve the Holy Spirit within you by living an unholy life. He will attempt to flatter you into becoming prideful. Beware of his influence, for the anointing is for the humble in spirit only. You can lose the sweet smell of the ointment when you spiritually roll around in the trash and filth of the world, which is Satan’s doing.
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.Acts 10:38
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.Luke 4:18-19
The anointing of God comes with great power and great responsibility. The power of God is at your fingertips, yet one must carry himself in a holy manner at all times, for the anointing is the Holy Spirit. Notice that the anointing is for service to others. The anointing is for the revelation of Christ to the hearers. The Spirit of the Lord came to glorify Jesus Christ and to speak of Him. There is no need to speak of yourself, for you are dead and buried in Christ. A servant speaks of his master, which is Christ.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.Isaiah 10:27
The anointing is meant to be a spirit of liberty, a spirit of freedom. It breaks the yoke of the oppressor and delivers the hearers into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. One must be careful to preach the freedom that is in Christ and stay far away from strange doctrines that bring people into bondage. Remember, the anointing is costly but has already been paid for with the blood of Jesus. When you carry this anointing out into the world, be sure to freely give away the things God has taught you. Freely you have received, freely give.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.John 12:24
When we were dead in our sins we lived a very selfish life, which was of no benefit to God or others. Christ wants you to die the death of fruitfulness. Your life is the seed that falls into the ground of your heart. If you will die to self, then God can use you to bring forth much good fruit by the Spirit of God. If you want the anointing, if you want to be a pleasing fragrance to God and others, then pay the price of such a costly anointing. Die to self and be filled with the Spirit of Christ. Then you will be equipped to do the work of the ministry, as Christ directs your steps into His perfect will for you. The same Spirit that anointed Jesus is the same Spirit we walk in today, for God changes not. I wish you many fruitful years of service to God in the power of His Christ. Amen.