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Mark 14 vs. 3 – 11
“While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.
“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.”
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.”
Today’s reading relates the events that took place in Jesus’ life on the Wednesday before Good Friday. He was eating a meal when a woman came and broke a very expensive jar of perfume over his head. Some of the disciples complained because it was a waste of money, but Jesus was able to see that this woman’s actions were motivated by love for Jesus. Whatever she knew she understood enough to know that Jesus would soon die so she was lovingly preparing him for his burial. Her love for Jesus was revealed in the expense that she went to because the perfume she poured out on Jesus cost more than most people earned in a year.
It was this love that Jesus commended for he could see by her costly actions the depth of her love for Jesus. And for us the challenge is do we by our actions show the Lord how much we love him? Not just in terms of showing it by how much money we give but also showing the Lord how much we love him by doing his will even when others will look at us strangely or think less of us if we serve the Lord rather that living to please others. Love like that is costly love which the Lord delights to see in his people.

Luke 19 vs. 1 – 10
“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
During the lead up to Easter Sunday, we are going to be thinking of some of the things that happened before Jesus death and resurrection. When Jesus was about to enter Jerusalem on Palm Sunday he passed through Jericho for the last time. A huge crowd came to meet him and because the crowd was so big, Zacchaeus who was a small man had to climb up a sycamore tree to see Jesus. Even though the crowd was big and Zacchaeus was small, the Lord still knew where Zacchaeus was and when he called out to Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus immediately came down to him. That reveals the Lord’s supernatural power, how he knows all things and how he has the power to call people to obey him.
We should take comfort from the Lord’s power because we can see how mighty he is. When we think of his power, think back to how he called you to know him, perhaps you felt you couldn’t do anything but trust the Lord. That is good news for us because it means that no-one can resist the Lord’s call when he calls them, they will respond to his gracious call in their lives. Remember that when you are paying for people to come to know Jesus as their Lord and saviour.

Prayer points
 Thank the Lord for his grace that he uses his power to call us to him.
 Pray that many would hear his call and respond by putting their faith in him.
 Pray that the virus would peak soon, leading to a declining number of new infections and deaths.

Psalm 139 vs. 13 – 18

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them!  Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand – when I awake, I am still with you.”

This Psalm reminds us that nothing about us is hidden from the Lord; he knew all about us even before we were born, he even numbered the length of our life down to the number of days we will live.  It is this wonderful knowledge that comforted David because he knew that his life was in God’s hands that nothing would happen to David outside of the Lord’s plan for him.  And because he knew of God’s gracious plan for him, he knew that he could trust the Lord.

So for those who have faith in Christ, we know that the Lord will care for us that he will fulfil his plan which he laid out for us before the world began.  And this should be a great source of comfort to those who have faith in Jesus.

Prayer points

  • For God’s people to remember he has a good plan for us.
  • For us not to fear what the future will hold
  • For many to turn to the saviour at this time.
Psalm 89 vs. 46 – 49
“How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire? Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all humanity! Who can live and not see death, or who can escape the power of the grave? Lord, where is your former great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David?”
Today’s reading is a psalm of lament in which the writer, Ethan the Ezrahite wants to know why the Lord has not come to his rescue yet. He asks the Lord to rescue him because his life is short and he cannot escape death and as he look on the briefness of his life, Ethan concludes that life is futile because it is so brief what was the point of such a short life? Yet his only hope to such a short life was the Lord’s great love and faithfulness which the Lord has swore to give to David and his descendants.
When we think of the situation we are all in together perhaps we can identify with how Ethan felt? And surely our only solution and hope is to keep on trusting in the Lord’s great hope for his people. So keep on trusting in the Lord for he will never desert his people.
Prayer points
 That God’s people would keep on trusting in God’s unfailing love and faithfulness.
 That many people would see the futility and briefness of life and turn to the Lord.
 That those who have under lying health issues that will cause complications if they catch Covid-19 would be kept free from the virus.