Reflections on an Alabaster Jar

Perhaps the most poignant message I would always hear from church is about God’s grace and how I am no longer to live in shame. Such messages would always speak so closely to my heart and is something I love to hear again and again. It refreshes my spirit who at times is tempted to listen to the lies of the enemy concerning my guilt. 
You see, I have experienced what it’s like to be saved and absolved from the guilt and shame of my past sins. Sins that have consequences which I would always encounter and battle. Consequences that are a constant reminder of the wrongs I’ve committed against my family, my self and God. 

But last Sunday’s message revealed once again how I am no longer to live in that shame. That I am now forgiven and are called to live in victory. 

Luke 7:36 – 48

The message about the immoral woman who wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair and tears annointing Him with alabster jar of expensive perfume is a story on what it means to be forgiven and be redeemed from your shame. 

The Sinful Woman and the Self-Righteous Pharisee

Here was a woman, considered sinful by society annointing Jesus’ feet. Jesus was at the home of Simon the Pharisee who he has cured of leprosy. Simon was indignant that Jesus would let a sinful woman touch him. He had forgotten that he too was once ostracized by society for his disease (leprosy was considered an unclean disease and the result of sin) and now he was cured and accepted. Simon, although cleansed still lacked the revelation that he was also forgiven for his sins. 

Yet the woman, clearly aware of her immense transgressions felt in every fiber of her body the forgiveness Jesus offered. 

Tears. Hair. Kiss. Perfume. 

Tears – Let the tears flow and let the hurts go. 

She wept and let her tears flow releasing all the hurt she felt from her years of wallowing in her sin. Her years of bondage were over and she was letting go of all the hurt by crying it all out to Him. 

Psalm 56:8 says: 

You keep track of all my sorrows.You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

God cares for each of our troubles. He has seen each tear we wept and hears each cry we raise up. 

It is alright to cry and call out to Him. Nothing is in vain. In time, He will answer and make things clear. 

Hair – Leave your pride and see that God’s on your side. 

As she wept, she let her hair wipe Jesus’ feet. Jesus’ feet was probably dirty and crusty – full of mud and dust from the unpaved roads outside. Yet here she was washing Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiping it with her hair. Her hair which was her crowning glory – the one that defines her beauty. Now forgotten. Used like a rag cloth. 

Hair symbolizes her pride. Her pride which she now laid humbly at Jesus’ feet. The source of her beauty now offered for Him. 

When we let go of our pride, we realize that we need a God who is bigger than us to solve our issues in life. We also recognize that we have a God who has forgiven and forgives our sins. And armed with this humbling knowledge we are able to draw near to Him. 

Kiss – God’s love is felt when you have no room for guilt

As she wept and wiped His feet she kissed it repeatedly. Kissed it with the lips that had probably kissed a dozen more and been the source of her sins. Doing so symbolizes her confidence of her forgiveness. She now has peace that her spirit was restored. Her lips which caused her sin before now bring forth her healing and restoration. 

What comes out of our lips? Are they words that encourage and uplift or are they words thag cause strife and depression? Are we sources of positivity or sources of negativity?

Perfume – The best you give becomes the legacy you leave

And the alabaster jar of expensive perfume she gave? It was worth a year’s wages. It was the tool of her trade. For her to give it up to Jesus showed she wanted him to have her very best. She came prepared to offer Him not just something but her everything. 

It also showed she was unwilling to go back to her former trade and she is giving up her last remaining link to her trade. 

She gave her best. She gave her all. There was no turning back. Her life was now Jesus’. 

What she did left a legacy. The gospels recorded that Jesus ordered for her story to be told throughout history. And now we know of her feat. 

Life Application 

I too have been forgiven. From a sin so great and shameful. Now I live my life, free of guilt; full of peace; full of love. 

You can live yours this way too. Just call Jesus. He is ready to forgive no matter how seemingly big our sins are. 


Author: elleica

Jesus Lover. Writer. Blogger. Biologist turned marketer. Child of Learning. Thrill Seeker. I long for my next adventure.

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