When God created Adam and Eve, I believe His intention was to give them the capacity to enjoy the world He had created. The garden they were placed in probably had numerous fragrant flowers and plants, which must have provided incredible aromatic pleasures. God finds pleasure through the five senses, which He loving built into us.
The words of the Bible draw us to Christ in many ways, including through personal accounts that mention His interaction with this world through His senses. Because of this, we relate to Him personally because we share similar experiences. Like us, Christ enjoyed the pleasures of food and drink. Christ also appreciated the beauty of a starry night or the sounds of a laughing child. We find comfort, assurance, and pleasure in the embrace of family members and friends. Certainly Jesus did too! Thanks to the way God designed us, the beauty of our world is enjoyed through sight, taste, touch, smell, and our ability to hear.
An important Scripture I want to mention is found in 2 Corinthians 2:13-16. It says we are fragrance diffusers. Can you picture it? We are living, walking incense diffusers. What do we diffuse? The Bible says we diffuse the fragrance of His knowledge, the very fragrance of Christ!
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?”
Because the Holy Spirit lives within us, we put forth the amazing odor of Christ everywhere we go. If you are inclined to do a word search using the word aroma, you will discover many passages mentioning God’s pleasure in sacrificial offerings. Such offerings are described as soothing and sweet aromas.
“Its entrails, however, and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer up in smoke all of it on the altar for a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord.” Leviticus 1:9 (NASB)
“Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time.’” Numbers 28:2 (NKJV)
Of course, Jesus willingly became the ultimate sacrificial offering. Through His blood sacrifice, our relationship with the God was restored. Jesus walked to His death in unconditional love. In giving Himself up for us, He became a fragrant offering to God.
“And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:2 (NIV)
Spiritual growth leading to spiritual maturity requires self-examination. Asking the hard questions that give us reason to pause and reflect is beneficial. Therefore, gird your loins and take an honest look at your Christian walk! Ask yourself if God considers you a living, breathing, walking stick of incense that constantly diffuses the essence of Jesus Christ? Have you a bold Christian witness and are you willing to share your knowledge of His love freely? Are your everyday actions modeling Christ’s example? Has self been entirely removed from your personal equation, thus enabling others to become the single purpose and absolute sum of God’s daily assigned math problem?
Consider Mary Magdalene’s bold act of worship when she massaged Christ’s feet with expensive spikenard oil. Her cost was great but her heavenly reward even greater for it pleased the Lord. The fragrance of the oil filled the house. Some present were offended but others were awestruck and made to think twice. Should we not be like that fragrant oil? It is my hope that we all become a very pleasing aroma before the throne of God and a very obvious fragrance to those within our midst.
“Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” John 12:3 (NKJV)
May the amazing love sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which so pleased the Father, be a continual reminder that through His amazing love you have been saved. This is the Good News! Share it with the world! Be a sweet and fragrant aroma!