Before the time of Jesus, God instigated rules by which man may approach Him and worship Him. Part of this included the building of the temple in Jerusalem. This was the focal point of worship for the old testament believers to come and offer sacrifices.
In the old testament books of Kings and Chronicles can be found a description of how the temple was to be built.
Consider these portions of scripture taken from 1 Kings 5 & 6
King Solomon conscripted labourers from all Israel – thirty thousand men. Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills, as well as thirty-three hundred foremen who supervised the project and directed the workers.
At the king’s command they removed from the quarry large blocks of high-grade stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple.
He overlaid the inside of the inner sanctuary with pure gold, and he also overlaid the altar of cedar. Solomon covered the inside of the temple with pure gold, and he extended gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, which was overlaid with gold.
So he overlaid the whole interior with gold. He also overlaid with gold the altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary.
What is striking about the building of the temple is the extravagance of it all. This was to be the temple of the Lord and no expense was spared.
Mary took about half a litre of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. (John 12: 3)
This pure act of devotion was considered wasteful by those who were there because the perfume cost the equivalent of a year’s wages. After all, what would it take any of us to spend what we would earn in a year all in one go? However Jesus commended her for what she did.
Our God is extravagant. He is not stingy or tight-fisted. He expects us to reserve our very best and our highest for Him because he is worthy of nothing less.
However, when considering the lavishness demonstrated in these two passages of scripture, remember what God gave for us in His Son.
He who did not withhold or spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all other things? (Romans 8:32)
Jesus was the very highest that God could give to save us. There was nothing greater in all of creation that He could have given and nothing more that he could have done. The immenseness of this free gift given for our forgiveness and salvation is just beyond anything we can really grasp.
This just shows us how much God longs for mankind to come to Him and has made the way open for us to approach Him. Who could turn away from such an extravagant act of sacrifice and love on our behalf?
God gave His highest and deserves our very best