Alabaster was very expensive in Bible times, and if a person bought an alabaster box, it was only used for very important purposes. In the days Jesus was on earth, when a young woman reached the age of availability for marriage, her family would purchase an alabaster box for her and fill it with precious ointment. The size of the box and the value of the ointment would parallel her family\’s wealth. This alabaster box would be part of her dowry. When a young man came to ask for her in marriage, she would respond by taking the alabaster box and breaking it at his feet. This gesture of anointing his feet showed him honor.
One day, when Jesus was eating in the house of Simon, a woman came in and broke an alabaster box and poured the valuable ointment on Jesus\’ head (see Mk. 14:3-9). With her tears, she washes Christ with ointment, using her hair she cleans his feet. Seeing this, Pharisees considered it an expensive waste.
They see her as a prostitute, or certainly a sinner, should she be allowed to do such a thing. Christ rebukes Simon and points out that since the woman has entered, he has done nothing but minister to him while the Pharisee, has done nothing. He then turns to the woman and pardons her of all her sins for her great devotion.
What we are seeing is how, in fact, by breaking her precious Alabaster jar; she became closer in spirit to Christ…
Break Your Alabaster Jar
Look at your own Alabaster Box, what is in your alabaster box? Lot of goodies, money, gold, real estate, stocks and shares, expensive cars, homes and what notâ€¦And what for?
You cannot trust in gold but you can trust in God.
Have you been holding on tightly to your alabaster box of dreams?
Break it at the feet of God, surely it will bring closer to God.
Further, the Alabaster Jar is linked to the image of a cup or chalice. It is the receiving vessel, into which the Holy Spirit pours and the individual can be transformed.