As an individual who is both analytical and creatively driven, very few activities have my attention more than cooking. The hairs on my skin raise when; the aroma of herbs stimulate my olfactory bulb, or the varying flavor of foods invigorate my palate. Deciding the best mixture of spice, garnishing or herb that would raise the piquancy of a dish is as brain-stimulating as a crossword puzzle.
This has ignited a new passion to experiment with different aromas and flavors. Where I use my knowledge of science to help me cook foods that are palatable but not at the full expense of my and others' health. Thus, cooking has become another way of exposing the nerd in me.
One of my favorite gospel songs is “Alabaster Box” by Cece Winans. I would always hear this song growing up and appreciate it for how well it was sung. However, after reading the story to which it was inspired, I would cry whenever I listened to it.
Now you must be wondering, why the sudden change from writing about my love for cooking to my love for this song? Well, the answer lies in what was present in her alabaster box. It contained valuable oils, some versions say perfume, that she would later pour on Jesus.
All the world’s fragrances are not enough to shelter the rank (bad-smelling) of our sins.
In the gospel accounts of this story, Mathew chapter 26 verses 6, Mark Chapter 14 verses 3 and Luke chapter 7, we were only told of her arrival at Simon’s house. It was never stated whether she sprinted her way there, gasping for breath as she finally met Jesus; or, if she was languid, firmly holding onto her alabaster box and hanging her head in order to avoid eye contact with persons who were nearby.
Either way, her arrival to the scene was conspicuous, as faces cringed, fists clenched, eyes gazed and mouths opened in anticipation of what she was about to do when she met Jesus. Based on the Pharisee’s words, it was clear that the fragrance of the perfumes (oils) she carried couldn’t rid the rank of her sinfulness. Her perfume was highly valued by the Pharisees, but her presence was undermined because of her many sins.
Not even the most skilled chef can make a palatable dish with rancid ingredients. It would be a waste of herbs and spices to flagrantly mask putrid foods. The woman understood this principle very well as she arrived at the conclusion that there was no fragrance in this world that could cleanse her of her sins.
Only Jesus could. Hence, she poured it all on Him, acknowledging that He is the fragrance that she has been yearning for all her life. Believing that what He offered was more valuable and life-giving than any precious oils that she had stored up in her alabaster box.
She Tasted and saw that her Savior was good
As the tears kept pouring through her eyes; and, with every bundle of hair shaft used to massage Jesus’ feet, I believe she was compelled to adore Him greater than anyone she had ever met. As both their eyes met, I can only imagine how joyful her heart was knowing that he didn’t shrug her off or turned his face in disdain. That must have been reassuring considering that people were upset that she “wasted” her oil on Jesus.
She tasted the grace and compassion of our Lord and was not disappointed. She saw how He praised her when everyone else was scolding her. She saw how He exalted her not only amongst persons who were at the scene, but amongst on-lookers across the world transcending many generations as Jesus promised that her act will be forever remembered on this earth.
She not only tasted but saw that her Savior was good. She finally understood what it meant for her sins to be forgiven. Jesus, in this story, demonstrated that no matter where life took him, He only had eyes for one.
He only has eyes for one
He only has eyes for:
The one who is lost and needs to be found.
The one who is dying and needs life.
The one who is forgotten and needs to be remembered.
The one who has been found guilty and desires mercy. The one who has been sick and needs to be healed.
The one who is foolish and desires wisdom.
The one who is perishing and needs to be rescued.
Jesus only has eyes for you! Yes, you! Amidst the foul stench of your sinfulness, Jesus offers to cleanse you with hyssop (Psalms chapter 51, verse 7). Despite our palate for the cravings of this world, Jesus offers bread which promises to satisfy our malnourished souls (John chapter 6, verse 48).
His love for you is unmatchable!
His love for you is untamable!
To whom He has his eyes on, He loves. To whom He loves, He preserves. To whom He preserves, He treasures.
Let this truth encourage you today. May you forever be reminded that He only has eyes for one, and it is you.
Akeel Henry (West Indies) enjoys sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with all individuals. He is currently a trained Biochemist who aspires to become a physician and a pastor. If you wish to share feedback concerning his articles, his email address is email@example.com. He can also be reached on facebook, Instagram (Akeel Henry) and on twitter (@A155_thevine).