When you are reprimanded in your broken state by those who value a false sense of propriety over your lavish and desperate worship ... you have an Advocate who will stand in defense of you. He tells them to leave you alone. When you've felt the stares, the rejection, the disdain of those appearing closer to Jesus on the outside, your Defender tells them to leave you alone. When the pain, shame and regret are so great that you risk the humiliation of become undignified in the presence of your Lord as onlookers scoff at the unabashed display, Jesus tells them to leave you alone.
A time long ago, at an unexpected place, on an ordinary night, a sinful woman knew her failures outweighed what was left of her reputation. The revelation of her last hope had seized her soul. Here in the room was Jesus, Himself, the One who healed the blind, raised the dead and forgave the most notorious of sinners. The relentless redemption offered by the only Man in the universe now resided within her grasp. To her, the act was not extravagant ... it was the lone thing of value she had left.
Under the watchful eye of those who would never understand, she poured out, not only the most expensive perfume she would ever own, but also the heaping weight of every errant choice, destiny killing regret and devastating decision. Falling through the tears, her heart poured out in surrender the greatest exchange she would ever make ... her brokenness for His wholeness. At this rare moment, one of Jesus' own disciples, the chosen few ... those so privileged as to walk right beside the Master when all the crowds had returned to their homes, became disgusted at the woman's waste.
"Surely this perfume could have been sold to give to the poor!" Judas declared with a scowl. Did her heart feel more rejection, more shame as she was publicly rebuked by one of His own, for coming undone? Would the mocking and laughter she had grown to accept now be confirmed even more strongly by the ridicule of one so close to the Saviour? Was there any hope that someone would stand up for her, love her, extend to her unmerited grace, even now at her very lowest, laid bare for all to see?
"LEAVE HER ALONE" came the staggering words of the Teacher, Himself (Mark 14:6-9, NIV). "Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her." For every one of us who have known the despair and unforgiving accusation of the enemy, Jesus says, "LEAVE HER ALONE."
In memory of a rejected person, much like ourselves, we remind the masses of those in need of defense, healing and forgiveness, our Advocate and Redeemer sees us and our brokenness is beautiful in His sight.
Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson is the author of Relentless Redemption and the co-host of the 700 Club Canada.
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