There is s famous Pub in London in Hyde Park that dates back to the 1700’s called The Swan. I have been to this Pub which has the best Fish N Chips I’ve ever tasted. A friend from American gave me $100.00 to take my family to eat at this restaurant while I was there.
The Pub is steeped in history because when I prisoner was on his way to face the executioner the jailer would stop by The Swan and get one last beer for the prisoner before he was killed. The prisoner was then put “on the wagon” and taken to be executed. I took this statement from The Swan’s website: ” It is said that the terms ‘one for the road’ and ‘on the wagon’ were coined in The Swan, after the local jailer would stop and request one last beer for prisoners.”
As I enjoyed my meal in London, I wondered about all those prisoners who took their last drink before losing their lives. Wednesday night is Jesus last stop at his favorite watering hole-the home of Martha and Mary and Lazarus. These seems to be his dearest hospitality friends. I’m so glad Jesus got this last night with friends because this would be his last night of sleep before his execution. Jesus comes by for “one more for the road” before he goes “on the wagon” that will carry him to Calvary.
Wednesday is traditionally called Spy Wednesday because that is the day that Judas conspires with the Sanhedrin to turn Jesus over to them for thirty pieces of silver. There are two reasons for the amount. The first is that prophecy declared Jesus would be sold for thirty pieces of silver. “So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.” (Zechariah 11:12) The other reason, however, is that this was the price of a slave. In one last bit of humiliation, Jesus value is assessed to be that of a forced laborer.
That evening, however, at the home of Martha and Mary, its a stunningly different scene. Mary breaks an alabaster perfume box of precious ointment and anoints Jesus with the entire contents. The smell must have been incredible. I think I may have paid 70 dollars for a bottle of expensive perfume for my wife, but this was worth an entire years wages? In our money its a $40,000 dollar bottle of perfume that she completely empties on Jesus. Judas was furious. He made a completely different valuation of Jesus. He’s only worth the price of a slave. Mary said Jesus is worth the very best that she had.
Wherever the gospel is preached, Jesus said, what Mary did for him will be told in memory of her.
Thank you thank you thank you for hosting Jesus one last time. Thank Martha for feeding him his favorite meal-I wonder if it was Fish N Chips? Thanks for baking his favorite pie. Thank you for recognizing Jesus’ greatness before the rest of us. Thank you for giving Jesus this incredible memory that most have helped sustain him during the cruel hours which were to come.
And Jesus, I pray you rest well tonight in the home of friends. Have one more for the road. Laugh once more. Eat once more. Rest once more. Forgive us for selling you out like a slave. We didn’t know. We couldn’t know. We couldn’t believe anyone could be this good. Judas was not your only betrayer. We all ran away. But don’t trouble yourself with that tonight. Sleep. Unload the weight of the world before you take up your infinitely heavy cross. Tomorrow you will be in Jerusalem, but tonight you are two miles away in quiet Bethany. Stay away from Jerusalem tonight. Bask in Bethany. I wish you could stay here but I’m grateful you didn’t. Last call!