Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
Texts: Matthew 26:1–16; Luke 12:48; Matthew 26:17–19; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Matthew 26:36–46; Matthew 26:51–75
Picture yourself looking for the perfect gift for your girlfriend, wife, or mother. You decide to buy her very expensive perfume. You just received a small inheritance so you decide to go all out. Perhaps you’ll buy Eau d’Hadrien which has a citrus scent that uses lemon, mandarin orange, grapefruit, cypress, and special concentrates from a plant in Madagascar called ylang. It costs $441 an ounce. The cheapest bottle is $1,500.
Then you discover the JAR Bolt of Lightning at $765 per ounce. The beautiful odor of adult blossoms and crisply cut plants has insights of green notes, tuberose, and musk. But you stumble across Caron Poivre at $1,000 an ounce from one of the world’s most prestigious perfume creators. Then a friend tells you about Clive Christian No. 1 at $2,150 per ounce. The Floral Oriental for ladies comes in a beautiful lead precious stone container that catches your attention.
The more you look, the more you discover even more luxurious options. Chanel Grand Extrait runs $4,200 an ounce. Baccarat sells a fabulous perfume for $6,800 an ounce. But you finally settle on Clive Christian No. 1 which also comes in Imperial Majesty at a whopping $12,721 per ounce.1
On the special day you present your gift to your loved one. You walk across the room to hand her the precious bottle held carefully in your hands. But then, you trip and the bottle falls out of your hands onto the hard floor and smashes into a million pieces. The perfume splashes onto the one you love. Everyone is aghast at the accident and no few tears are shed.
Can you imagine someone buying an expensive bottle of perfume and purposefully breaking it? As we study the last days of Jesus in our Sabbath school lesson this week, we read of how Mary broke an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard and poured it on Jesus’ head and feet. What she did was no accident, though she did shed tears. She was motivated to give her gift of love because of the grace Jesus extended toward her.
Grace is not cheap. When we exercised our free will to walk away from God, the Savior used His free will to lay down His life for us. It’s a gift we don’t deserve and can never repay. Those who choose to receive are moved by grace to demonstrate their love for Christ.
How do you show your love for Jesus? Study the last days of Christ’s life before the cross and learn of His extravagant love for you—and then decide.
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