Anointed to Die
There's this beautiful flower that grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China, and India called Spikenard. It has healing properties for the body and mind as an essential oil and because of its potency it is very expensive. During the final days before Jesus' crucifixion His feet were anointed with this oil by Mary of Bethany who then dried them with her hair. This pint of oil was the most expensive thing she owned, worth hundreds of silver coins, and yet she lavishly poured it all out for Jesus as an offering, unknowingly preparing Him for the cross. Knowing it had cost her everything Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Mark 14:9
One of the methods for extracting this oil is distillation where the main goal is to separate the components of the flower, through boiling, to achieve purity. What can you separate yourself from to be pure? There has to be a "coming away with" to serve Christ. It may cost you friends, keep you from certain social places or even call you out of old habits, but the oil that will flow from your life, as an offering to God, is worth it. Leviticus 20:26 says, "You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be My own." WOW! We are called to be holy and solely His, separated for God's Kingdom and works.
Another method for extracting this precious oil is called expression where the flower is crushed or pressed over and over again. The pressures of life are guaranteed to either bring out the best or worst in us. There are constant challenges, temptations, and tests we endure as children of God but when we prevail there is an oil with a sweet aroma
that God receives as our sacrifice. Every "yes" given to God is a resounding "no" to any situation pulling us away from Him and though this pressing may hurt, God is pleased with us and nothing beats that.
The Hebrew word for olive press is "Gethsemane" which is also the name of the garden where Jesus prayed. It's not to be overlooked that the place that prepared Jesus' mind for the cross signified the "pressing" and pressure He felt of doing His Father's will. Wanting God's will for our lives is a daily decision but getting God's will from our lives is a process that will take a lifetime. All the encouragement we need is etched in the Word of God that shines a light on the life of Jesus.
The oil in our lives signifies our maturity, our willingness to die to ourselves so that God's Kingdom may receive all the glory, and a life that's surrendered to uplifting of our King who died for us. Boiled and pressed, ouch, not exactly the way someone would willingly choose to live their lives but, we were anointed by God so that through faith we will become the likeness of His Son, anointed to die to ourselves but also to rise up with Jesus when He returns. One of the greatest promises of our lives is to see the One we've lived and died for and that's worth EVERYTHING!