Passover begins tonight and we are thinking of Holy Week events 2000 years ago when Mary Magdalene and Yeshua were alive and in Jerusalem for Passover, the ominous clouds rising.
Margaret Starbird writes:
As some of you know, I believe that the “Passion of the Christ” begins –not at the Last Supper and the Agony at Gethsemane– but with the anointing at the banquet at Bethany that occurred shortly before the Passover.
All four canonical Gospels include the story of the anointing of Jesus by a woman. Only Luke removes this event from Holy Week, placing it early in Jesus’ ministry and calling the woman “a sinner from the town.”
The other Gospels agree that the event occurred during Holy Week and at a banquet held in Bethany. John’s Gospel explicitly states that Lazarus reclined with Jesus at the table, while Martha served the dinner. It was their sister Mary who anointed the Lord with precious nard and “wiped her tears from his feet with her hair”–a detail mentioned also in Luke’s version. It’s clear that John was trying to correct Luke’s spurious version of the story, reclaiming the reputation of Mary, the woman with the Alabaster Jar. And her fragrance filled the house! (John 12:3).
This line links the anointing to the Song of Songs (Solomon) where the nard of the Bride wafts about the Bridegroom at his banquet table (SoS 1:12). And “The king is captivated by your tresses.”
John’s Gospel goes on to record that Judas complained of the wasted value of the perfume, which could have been sold and the money used to feed the poor, to which Jesus responds, “Let her keep it for the day of my burial….” This is significant because in John’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene goes alone to the tomb on Easter morning to mourn the death of her Beloved and finds him resurrected in the garden.
The importance of this anointing of Jesus by a woman is huge! “Messiah” means “anointed One.” She was proclaiming him King and Messiah of Israel in his role as the “Sacrificed Bride-groom King.”
The anointing of the “Bridegroom King” was an ancient rite in the Middle East, in the fertility cults of the “Sacred Marriage” (hieros gamos). The royal Bride represented the land and people and was a surrogate of the Goddess. She anointed her Bride-groom in a nuptial rite, a prefiguring of the anointing by the feminine during coitus. She then led him to the Bridal Chamber to consummate their union. The joy and blessing from their love-making spread out into the crops and herds and into the people of the land — and everyone lived happily ever after — just like Cinderella!
Actually, NOT. Shortly after the celebration of the hieros gamos, the Bridegroom King was arrested. He was tortured, mutilated, executed and entombed at the Spring equinox. Then, on the third day, his Bride went to the tomb to mourn his death and discovered him resurrected in the garden! This ancient festival in the cults of numerous god-goddess couples in Near and Middle East was a celebration of the eternal return of LIFE in the springtime… and from their sacred RE-union, all blessings flowed–as in the “nuptials of the Lamb” in Revelation 21-22.
“Easter” is merely a corruption of the name of the Goddess Oestare, derived from Ishtar/Astarte. Christianity may have “new wine in new wineskins”—but the “Passion Story” is that of the eternal “Bride and Bridegroom” and beings with the anointing of the King: “She has done me a favor… She has anointed me in advance for my burial, and wherever this gospel is preached, what she has done will be told in memory of her” (Mark 14:7-8).
Mary Magdalene is clearly styled as the Bride of the Easter Mysteries. Picture her anointing Jesus at the banquet, following him as he carries the cross, standing with him as he endures the tortures of crucifixion, anointing his body for burial and returning at first light on Sunday to mourn him.
Before celebrating the liturgies for Palm Sunday, please contemplate the mysteries of the “Sacred Marriage” celebrated in the Song of Songs and the Anointing at Bethany (John 12:8).
In Memory of Her-
“Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile”