Mark 14:3 Meanwhile Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had Leprosy. While he was eating a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head.
Alabaster jar, what’s in it?
Alabaster was a stone commonly found in Palestine. It was a hard stone resembling white marble, and it is referred to as one of the precious stones used in the decoration of Solomon’s Temple 1 Chronicles 29:2.
The jar normally carried precious ointment, perfume oil “Spikenard.” This oil was used to anoint Jesus’s head and feet. Anointing in those days was not just putting a dab of oil on your forehead; they poured it over the entire head. The alabaster jar was sealed with wax that kept the oil and fragrance securely packed inside the jar.
Spikenard essential oil was transported to the Holy Land in sealed alabaster jars all the way from the Himalayan Mountains. It was one of the most precious oils in ancient times used only by priests, kings or high initiates.
According to Dietrich Gumbel, PhD, it strengthens heart and improves circulation. Spikenard is antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. It is used for insomnia, PMS, heart arrhythmias, and nervous tension.
In today’s society the alabaster jar has been replaced with perfume bottles or perfume jars made mostly of glass. The oil Spikenard has not changed. It is still a powerful oil and made from God’s plant. It is a flowering plant that grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China and India.
So when we think about the alabaster jar and the Spikenard oil that was transported to the Holy Land, and used over 2,000 years ago, think about how it functioned and was effective then and how it functions and is effective today. Let’s learn from our wise ancestors.
“Never, no, never did nature say one thing and wisdom says another” Edmund Burke
Written by Pamela Douglas-Alvarado