Not many stories are recounted in all four of the Gospels. Jesus having his feet anointed with a pound of the myrrh of pure nard  is one of those stories.  Here myrrh refers to a medicinal aromatic essential oil called spikenard or muskroot which is derived from a flowering plant of the valerian family that grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China, and India. Having to travel by ship and camel over long distances to reach Israel, would have made it very expensive in the ancient world.
For Mary to have purchased a pound of this oil would have been very costly. In first century Israel, 300 denarii were approximately one year’s wages for a skilled laborer. That would be about $50,000 in today’s value—over $3,000 per ounce.
Judas was present and openly questioned the action, asking why the myrrh wasn’t being sold so the money could be given to the poor. By comparison, the 30 pieces of silver Judas received for betraying Jesus is worth about $600 in today’s value.
At $4,900 an ounce, Shalini is the most expensive perfume in the world today. What Mary did to Christ was like breaking a 10-ounce bottle of Shalini over Jesus’s feet instead of his head and wiping his feet with her hair and tears. Anointing the feet was only done to the dead. And breaking the neck of a perfume jar  was an action that demonstrated it would not be used again; an action that was typically done only for burial.
What was offered to Jesus in this way was an incredibly extravagant gift indicative of an incredibly extravagant love for Him, revealed through the unusual action of lowering her hair in public, an act of considerable vulnerability and intimacy, indicating how deeply the woman’s heart had been transformed by Grace. Before Christ’s love and mercy, she was emotionally like the first Adam and Eve, “naked and unashamed.” 
The more Grace received, the more the heart freely offers itself back in humility with the same joyful abandonment and gratitude. The fragrance of the myrrh “filled the whole room” now delivering its message as a synergy of essential oil, tears of repentance, gratefulness, love and the Savior’s own holiness.
While the details of who exactly anointed Jesus, how, and where it occurred, differ, the important point seems to have been the anointing itself. Only a pure love was capable of revealing the truth of these actions and only guileless humility could offer and receive it. Jesus recognized this immediately as a prophetic action of love from a repentant and grateful heart while Simon the Pharisee and Judas the disciple were blind to its deeper significance. Feeling entitled by their interpretations, they questioned it on the most superficial worldly terms and were ready to condemn both Jesus and the woman for missing what they considered to be more important.
Jesus received both the woman’s actions and the myrrh as a prophetic gift for the sake of His burial and proclaimed that what she had done would be remembered wherever the Gospel was preached. He saw how the actions conveyed the Gospel truth of love just as the bread and wine of a meal together would later convey the deeper truth and eternal love of His full personhood and willingness to offer Himself entirely for the redemption of humankind.
This is particularly significant in so much as the myrrh-bearers who came later after His death, had intended to lovingly anoint the Lord’s body early in the morning hours after the Sabbath had concluded, because they had been present when Jesus had been hastily placed in the tomb just minutes before sunset on the eve of Passover. They had been unable to finish his burial preparations. The myrrh bearers, who had been present at his crucifixion, never got to finish anointing Him. Instead they became themselves bearers of the Gospel message of His Resurrection to the disciples and to Peter, who had not been present at the crucifixion.
In Jerusalem I am told that the ‘stone of anointing’ where Christ was briefly laid after his crucifixion prior to His entombment, regularly sheds a sweet myrrh that pilgrims wipe off on cloths they bring with them. When a friend took my wife’s and my prayer ropes to Israel and placed them on this stone, they came back fragrant. The One who was not fully anointed in death now offers His fragrance to us as a testimony of being fully alive.
The same testimony is offered through the Lord’s saints whose bodies are mingled with the fragrance of His divine Grace. When St. Nektarios died of prostate cancer in the hospital for incurables, his body immediately began to exude a fragrant myrrh. One of the attending nurses anointed her paraplegic husband with it and he was instantly cured.
There are two icons of the Holy Theotokos currently gushing an extraordinary amount of fragrant myrrh. One is in an Orthodox Church in Taylor, Pennsylvania and the other in Honolulu, Hawaii, which have been in contact with each other. The myrrh from both have an identical fragrance and there have been many cases of healing from being anointed with this myrrh.
I visited the church in Taylor, Pennsylvania where one of the icons resides and watched as the priest rubbed his thumb across the face of it. Within seconds, the oil multiplied before my eyes and covered the full surface of the icon. These are not icons that ‘weep’ in sorrow, but are rather myrrh-gushing icons of joy. Bishop Gregory of Nyssa refers to the one in Taylor, PA as a “tsunami”. They are extravagant, even greater than the extravagance of Mary who anointed the Lord’s feet with the costly myrrh. They are Messengers of love and joy of the Resurrection and what they convey is priceless.
In both cases, during the days leading up to Pascha, these icons of the Holy Theotokos begin to dry out and then on Pascha, the myrrh gushes forth and flows continuously, so much so that the icons can be turned on their side and the oil drips off into the hand and into open plastic bags with cotton balls inside. The myrrh soaks the wooden containers and lecterns that hold the icons and the fragrance of this unspeakable joy fills the entire church.
What is happening here? Two-thousand years after anointing Jesus in love prior to his death, the Holy Theotokos, herself among the other myrrh-bearers, Mary the mother of Salome, Joanna and Mary Magdalene, witnesses to the Resurrection of her Son and of her own love and intercession for all humanity.
For those with hearts of faith, the myrrh-bearing miracle of her icon is a testimony of great joy, even while the senses of the scientist and rational humanist that we all are apart from being awakened from above  by the uncreated divine energies of Grace, stands in perplexed incomprehension. before a phenomenon that can be empirically verified while yet remaining incomprehensible, except by a heart willing to receive its testimony. It reminds me of how the disciples could stand in Jesus’s presence after the resurrection and not know Him, until their hearts began to burn with noetic fire and then by Grace they recognized him in the ordinary breaking of the bread. 
It is the same for all of us. The heart touched by faith from beyond the senses, rationality, and human emotions, experiences the testimony of these myrrh-gushing icons as witnesses of the Resurrection in a way that rational humanism cannot. This is true for our encounter with all creation as well, through the heart of faith.
We either rise no further than our senses, reason and emotions, remaining on the level of Judas and Simon the Pharisee in our unpurified estimations, or we are quickened to the heart in repentance beyond comprehension by a sweet gentle noetic fire that illumines without burning, opening our eyes to an unseen world, our ears to Living Word and our senses to a different valuing of created life as capable of being conjoined with divine life, even while remaining what it is, as the burning bush remained itself while bearing witness to Holy Fire.
A friend of mine who attends the church in Honolulu shared with me the wondrous experience he beheld at 3:45 AM at this year’s Midnight Paschal Liturgy as the Holy Theotokos began to share her joy with everyone present, testifying to the truth of Christianity by the witness of her holy icon gushing myrrh to anoint all of us with the same angelic announcement of the first myrrh bearers to the Apostles. “He is Risen!”
Christ is risen and has conquered death by death, giving life to those who were in the tombs and to us, who though we die, yet we shall live!
 Artist – Jon Wretland, http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=686981
 μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς] = “myrrh of pure nard”
 John 12:3; Mt 26:7; Mk. 14:3; Lk. 7:37,38
 Mk. 14:3.
 Ge. 2:25.
 Jn 3:3.
 Lk 24:13 ff.