In John 12, Mary responded to Lazarus's resurrection by running to Jesus with her most important possession. She barged into a closed room of disciples, crushing open her alabaster jar of nard, worth a year's wages, that she was to keep for her wedding. She intuited in Jesus' tears that every miracle of Jesus drew Him a step closer to His sacrificial death. She had to respond with a direct, intuitive, but also intentional, act of devotion. Mary's nard became the only earthly possession that Jesus took to the cross.
For the 60th Anniversary publication of Christianity Today, I painted "Grace Remains-Nard" as a reminder of Mary's act. While the disciples (notably Judas) grumbled, Jesus commended her, saying, "She has done a beautiful thing to me …. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her" (Mark 14:6-9, NIV) May your lives reflect this beautiful sacrifice, and the aroma of Christ, the "grace remains" of her act: may what she has done be told "wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world".
CT's 60th anniversary cover art was painted to reflect the message of Beautiful Orthodoxy by renowned artist and culture-shaper Makoto Fujimura. The original work will be exhibited at New York City's Waterfall Gallery May 2017, courtesy of Artrue International. Fifty exclusive limited edition digital prints of the painting will be made available on www.makotofujimura.com. For price and size information of the limited edition print, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Makoto Fujimura is an internationally renowned artist, writer, and speaker who serves as the director of Fuller Theological Seminary's Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts.