Alabaster Jar – Giving all to Jesus
A few years ago, I had the privilege of traveling to Egypt to spend time with people who love Jesus in a culture where following Him comes at a significant cost. While there, my Egyptian friends took me to the oldest operating market in the world. The stalls were filled to the brim with men peddling their wares to the passersby—spices, pottery, jewelry. I wanted a souvenir to remember the trip.
When I saw the jar, I knew it was what I was looking for.
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It would be a meaningful reminder of one of my favorite stories in Scripture—the woman with the alabaster jar:. But when I unpacked back in the states, my jar was crushed—and so was I. From one side, it appears intact. But from another view, you can see large cracks and a sizeable hole. I almost started crying—I was so upset. But God reminded me of the story that tugged my heartstrings to buy it in the first place. The woman who brought her alabaster jar of perfume had to crack it as an act of worship in order to spill out its contents on Jesus.
I loved my jar when I bought it.
Because it stands as a picture of me. On days when I sin, when my cracks are obvious, this mind-boggling truth is one I have to force myself to remember. He sees my flaws, my cracks, and He pours out love for me, even still. The sinful woman with the alabaster jar knew she was sinful—but deeply loved.
Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28
My jar sits as a reminder—she and I are the same. The Lord wants us to live in a deep, intimate, and obedient relationship with Him rather than in conformity to the world around us. See NAS Esther White, green, and blue hangings were fastened with cords of byssus and purple to silver rings and pillars of white marble; couches of gold and silver lay upon a pavement of red and white marble, and alabaster , and black marble.
DBY Song of Songs His legs are as pillars of stone on a base of delicate gold; his looks are as Lebanon, beautiful as the cedar-tree.
The name is used in this sense by Pliny. It is sometimes distinguished as oriental alabaster. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Multi-Version Concordance Alabaster -box 2 Occurrences. The scented oils or ointments were kept in jars or vials not boxes made of alabaster. These jars are frequently Matthew there came to him a woman having an alabaster box of ointment, very precious, and she poured on his head as he is reclining at meat.
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Jar 45 Occurrences. In the New Testament a small jar or vial, alabastron, " alabaster cruse" or flask, for holding ointment; not "box" as in the King James Version Matthew See NAS.
It occurs only in Matthew ; Mark ; Luke The ancients considered alabaster to be the best material in which to preserve their ointments. The Oriental alabaster referred to in the Bible is a translucent carbonate of lime, formed on the floors of limestone caves by the percolation of water. It is of the same material as our marbles, but differently formed. It is usually clouded or banded like agate, hence sometimes called onyx marble. Our common alabaster is different from this, being a variety of gypsum or sulphate of lime, used In its finer forms for vases, etc. The noted sculptured slabs from Nineveh are made of this material.
ATS Bible Dictionary Alabaster A sort of stone, of fine texture, either the white gypsum, a sulphate of lime, or the onyx-alabaster, a hard carbonate of lime, having the color of the human nail, and nearly allied to marble. This material being very generally used to fabricate vessels for holding unguents and perfumed liquids, many vessels were called alabaster though made of a different substance, as gold, silver, glass, etc.
The Unnamed Woman With the Alabaster Jar | CBE International
In Matthew ,7, we read that Mary, sister of Lazarus, John , poured as alabaster box of precious ointment on Christ's head. Mark says "she brake the box," signifying probably, that the seal upon the box, or upon the neck of the vase of bottle, which kept the perfume from evaporating, had never been removed; it was on this occasion first opened. The Greek word alabastron or alabastos meant a stone casket or vase, and alabastites was used for the stone of which the casket was made. This stone was usually crystalline stalagmitic rock or carbonate of lime, now often called oriental alabaster, to distinguish it from gypsum.