A Gospel Memorial
“Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken on for a memorial of her.”
The words, “Verily I say unto you,” are to get our attention and cause us to listen. A woman approaching Christ to anoint Him with precious ointment, moved by the Spirit of God, is here commended by our Lord because of the significance of what her actions symbolized.
The message that the pouring out of the precious ointment signifies is the sum of the Gospel of righteousness. It concerns not only the glory of the One anointed, but the importance of why He came and the doctrine of His death, burial, and resurrection.
As glorious as is the incarnation of Christ , and all the actions of His life, and whatever He did for the good of men, yet it is His dying for sin, and making full payment for it, satisfying law and justice, fulfilling the law, destroying death, putting away the sins of His people and rising again because of their justification having been complete, that is the memorial before God.
This is the very message of the Gospel and its glory, and nothing else, just as nothing else mattered than what the spikenard symbolized to Christ in His death. These words of Christ show that “this” Gospel should be preached an it is to this end that He gave the commission and gifts to His disciples. It continues to be the message of those that the Lord has raised up in our day to preach the Gospel. It is God’s ordained means for the conversion of sinners, the edification of saints, and glorifying His name in the world (Romans 1:16).
Our Lord said, “There shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” It is not a memorial to her faith, love, and gratitude, as some might try to glorify. God-given faith never looks to itself as having any merit. Neither does any love and gratitude that we may show to Christ. If there is any, God graciously gave it to us in order to honor His Son (1st Corinthians 4:7). Rather, it is the memory of our Lord Jesus that she sought to honor, glorifying His death and burial, by which her God-given hope was that her sins would thereby be put away, and she declared righteous, having the merits of His righteous obedience imputed to her upon completion of Christ’s death. It is in this same way that our Lord hold all of His justified ones in remembrance, and blesses them to continue to honor His name.