From Lazarus …
Our home smelled of the fragrance for days. When Mary poured the perfume upon the Teacher, some of it splashed on the table. And it even left a stain.
In the days to come, many of the Jews in Jerusalem believed in the Teacher because of the seismic miracle He performed on me.
But the chief priests, led by Caiaphas, were so threatened that they hatched a plot to put me to death. I was a living witness to the resurrection power of Jesus. The priests feared that if the Jews began believing in Him in larger numbers, the Romans would remove their established place in the city. So they wanted me dead to protect their real estate.1
My sisters and I scrambled to gather my belongings and pack them up. Under the cloak of darkness, I left Bethany in hiding. I went to Bethsaida in Galilee and stayed with the family of Philip—one of the Teacher’s disciples.
Several weeks later, I received word that the Romans had put Jesus to death outside of Jerusalem, and I quickly made my way home.
The journey was long. The smell of donkey dung on the side of the roads filled my nostrils. My body was covered in gritty dust. Eventually, I rounded the corner, and our house in Bethany glimmered in the afternoon sun.
I staggered to the courtyard. Martha’s hand stilled over her mixing bowl. “Lazarus!” she yelled.
My bags dropped to the floor. The sight of her calloused hands undid me. Tears burned my eyes. “They killed Him,” she said.
I wrapped my arms around her. Our tears dripped to the ground.
In the days that followed, we could still smell the fragrance of Mary’s perfume in the house. And whenever we looked at the stain on the table, we remembered.
We remembered all the times He visited our home and how He broke bread with us.
We remembered how Mary wiped His feet with her hair, anointing Him for His soon-approaching burial.
We remembered the many things He taught us before He visited the holy city one last time.
We remembered … and we wept.
But what happened next was the most surprising of all …
– Adapted from “God’s Favorite Place on Earth” by Frank Viola, author.