And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing...2 Samuel 24:24
This last week it seems like every time I turn around I hear sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice! It has been very humbling as this is an area of my life that I am slightly lacking in.
I am reminded of the sinner Mary when she broke her alabaster box over Jesus' feet, and then proceeded to wash and dry his feet with her tears and hair. This story is pretty familiar, but it has really been speaking to me this past week. In Jesus' time, when a couple would get engaged the bride was expected to give a dowry gift. This gift was often an alabaster box filled with expensive perfume. It is estimated that an alabaster box would have cost about a year's wages; in today's dollars that would be about $50,000! For one box of perfume!
When Mary broke her alabaster box over Jesus' feet, she was not only sacrificing all that hard work and money, but she was also sacrificing her chances of marriage (which was extremely important for women in the Jewish society). Showing her reckless abandonment for Jesus in this way made her look like a fool to all watching. They said, "To what purpose is this waste?" Jesus was the only one who understood, but I don't think any of this bothered Mary, for all she was worried about was loving Jesus.
God is a holy and just God. He has saved us through His infinite, breath-taking grace. Through Christ's blood, our sins are forgiven and we are free from the grip of sin. But if we continue living a mediocre life and are satisfied by a tokenism Christianity that costs us nothing, have we truly been set free? Are we truly grateful and in awe of a holy God? Or do we fail to see Him as someone to be reverenced, because that would cost us too much?
What if God answered our prayers the way we answer His call to service?
What if God met our needs the way we give Him our lives?
Oh, that I may be like David who did not want to give something to God that cost Him nothing. Like Mary who broke her alabaster box for Jesus in reckless abandonment. Because He has already paid the ultimate price for me. Isn't that the least I can do in return?