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Alabaster Box – Spiritual Meaning in the Bible

What is the spiritual meaning of the Alabaster Box, according to the Bible?


The Bible tells the story of Mary of Bethany, who broke her alabaster box or jar of ointment and anointed Jesus’ head.

The Bible records that the fragrant oil was expensive and made Jesus’s disciples rebuke her for wasting it instead of selling it and using the money to feed the poor (Matthew 26:6-12).

However, Jesus told them to let her be and commended her action, stating that what she did have spiritual significance, a prophetic act of anointing His body for His burial.

Jesus further stated that her generous act will be remembered forever and her name etched in the sand of time.

“I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” (Matthew 26:13)

Jesus’ statement is significant because it reveals the first spiritual meaning of the alabaster box, solely related to His death, burial, and resurrection in the fulfillment of His divine assignment.

This proves the alabaster box transcends a physical object but holds profound meanings.

Alabaster box also appears in two other places in the Bible:

“And being in Bethany at the house of Simon, the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.” (Mark 14:3)

“And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil.” (Luke 7:37)

Spiritual Meaning of the Alabaster Box – Biblical Perspective of an Alabaster Box:What is the spiritual meaning of the Alabaster Box

Broken spirit

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

Mary broke the alabaster box of expensive oil.

That must have been a great sacrifice considering the amount she must have invested in purchasing the box and its content or what she would have realized if she had sold it.

This is commendable because following Christ and doing His will requires great sacrifice.

Luke 14:27-28 says, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.”

Every disciple must be willing to pay the cost and bear the burden that surely comes with serving God.

However, beyond the physical sacrifice of time, energy, and resources, God is interested in a broken heart.

A broken heart is that which has totally surrendered to God.

It is a heart that is pure and resolute.

A heart surrendered to Jesus Christ.alabaster box meaning

Giving God our best

An alabaster box symbolizes the best and choicest possession we have chosen to give God.

An alabaster box can differ per individual involved.

For Hannah, her alabaster box was Samuel, her first son.

She gave him to God to serve in His temple, even after many years of barrenness.

Isaac was Abraham’s alabaster box.

Despite giving birth to him at a hundred, Abraham was ready to sacrifice him to God as a burnt offering when God tested him.

So, an alabaster box may be what we cherish deeply but are ready to give to God.

Our best might not be big or expensive in our sight. But it is cherished by God.

For example, Mark 12:42-46 records how a poor widow gave two mites.

One mite is worth 1/8 of a cent today. However, Jesus told His disciples that her offering was the greatest because she gave her all.

Therefore, an alabaster box is that thing that you know will cost you much, but you have decided to lay at the feet of Jesus.alabaster box scripture

Ability to let go

Many people lack the willpower to let go of hurts, toxic relationships, pain, and bad habits.

They lack the courage to forgive themselves because they fear starting all over, being lonely, and experiencing newness. However, we learned from Mary that she let go of what was considered expensive by onlookers and Jesus’ disciples but got something more precious – writing her name in the history book of Life (Matthew 26:13).

The Bible says there’s a time to embrace and let go.

We must understand that we might not receive certain blessings and promotions if our hands are occupied by unnecessary baggage.

Therefore, we must be ready to decide not to focus on past mistakes and current achievements but on where God is taking us because it will always be beyond our imaginations.alabaster box in the bible

Sacrificial love

The alabaster box symbolizes a generous display of sacrificial love.

It shows the extent one can go for those they love and respect.

Mary truly loved Jesus.

That was why she was ready to offer her expensive ointment without batting an eyelid.

When it comes to those we love, we can go the extra mile to please them and make them feel cherished.

The alabaster box represents the price we are willing to pay for love.

For example, Jesus gave His life for us on the cross to obtain salvation and be rescued from sin and death.

That is the ultimate sacrifice of love.

Giving His life is synonymous with breaking an alabaster box.

We must be willing to sacrifice for God and our loved ones.the woman with the alabaster box

A heart of generosity

The alabaster box symbolizes a generous heart.

It’s rare finding someone willing to give such an expensive gift to someone without expecting something in return.

Only a generous person can do what Mary did.

As such, the spiritual meaning of an alabaster box is generosity towards people, especially those who cannot repay us, because if we intend to get something in return, it is not generous.


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