Martha, Lazarus, and Mary offer a three-stage perspective of the Christian life. As new converts, we throw ourselves into diligent, zealous service. We then come to a point where we either burn out, or go into the Lazarus stage of death and resurrection. We grow sick of self and the carnal nature, and see ourselves as utterly nothing. Like a corpse, we become offensive to those still living in the world. Finally, we come through to the ardent flame of love that motivated Mary to pour out spikenard on Jesus' feet.
This last stage is the sweetest form of the Christ-life on earth. Without reservation, such saints will break their most precious alabaster boxes for Christ's sake. This ardent devotion to Jesus manifests itself in self-sacrificing love for others. And, though such a believer will be criticized by cold-hearted Christians, the sweet aroma will come back to her as she rubs her hair on the anointed feet of Jesus. Does this flame of love for Jesus burn continually in your soul?