Thursday, 2 April 2015


You smell and you smell. You do both. It seems we nearly all prefer pleasant fragrances. This preference was demonstrated when each of my three daughters were young. On an excursion into town, they always wanted to detour into Myer making a bee-line for the Perfume section. Newly fragranced, they would tell me, "Just like the models Daddy!" 
¶ But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.2Cor. 2:14 
I say "nearly all" prefer pleasant fragrances because I'm not sure about some teenage boys. They've even coined a word to celebrate their mutual gagging: "getawiffofthis".
to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?2Cor. 2:16 
A scented GardenGod has created us to see, hear, express, touch and smell. Great artists have painted portrayals of God's works and glory. Great musicians have written songs that have melodiously captured God's heart in lyrics. Great sculpturers and architects have given us objects and buildings to touch which salute God's grandeur. But I cannot think of one Christian Perfumer. Strange. Especially considering the detail of how God Himself wanted to be portrayed to the world. Each of the Old Testament aspects of the Tabernacle and its ceremonies reflect the visual beauty, the tactile grace, the audible magnificence and the 'sweet smelling aromas' associated with thoughts of God and His works.
And Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it. Every morning when he dresses the lamps he shall burn it, and when Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he shall burn it, a regular incense offering before the LORD throughout your generations.
Exodus 30:7-8
Each of us apparently has a detectable smell. Search and Rescue dogs use this for our advantage. God has designed us to emit a visual, audible, tactile, and fragrant impression. Our desire to smell pleasant is a testimony to this deep seated reminder of our first parents' Eden experience within each of us. When we think of Eden we might be preoccupied with the sights of the magnificent garden, animals, and pollution-free skies - or the sounds of friendly and tame animals, birds, insects. But how many of us wonder about how it would have smelt?
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:2 
There was once a man in a small town who loved his glass-house roses. Locals always knew he had just been with someone or in their home. His scent lingered. Long after he was gone the smell of rose would cause a local to fondly remember. 
his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
Hosea 14:6 
Christ has a fragrance. Those who spend time with Him end up smelling of His fragrance. This aroma is spiritually detectable. Even though people spiritually smell Christ's fragrance on us, to some it is what the Apostle Paul called "the aroma of death" because Christ smells so opposite to the fragrance of the sin which they love. Yet to some who seek to be delivered from their sin and its eternal penalty, it is "the aroma of life"
For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
Second Corinthians 2:15-16
Some people, after they've gone, leave a fragrance behind that lasts for years - sometimes decades. Their life was lived with such dignity and service to others that their fragrance still freshens our world even after centuries have passed. Their generosity leaves a legacy that is fragrant for centuries and in the case of the Philippian believers - for millennia!
I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
Philippians 4:18
I don't like to take out of Scripture what was never put there in the first place, so I beg your forgiveness for what I am about to do. If we were to understand the Song of Solomon to be a picture of Christ and His Church (which it is not, but indulge me for a moment), it is a tender moment when the two lovers in this song describe each other as much by the fragrances as they do by their appearances. Who you are on the inside, emits a 'fragrance'. The repentant, prayerful, follower of Christ emits a fragrance every time they pray that only Heaven can smell. These prayers fill Heaven with a delightful scent described metaphorically as, "incense". 
And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Revelation 5:8
Easter has such a fragrance. You can smell it. Don't confuse the smell of Easter eggs and hot-cross buns with the real smell of Easter. Breath in the ancient-but-still-fresh fragrance of Easter and you'll detect the finest fragrance the world has ever hosted. It's the fragrance of unconditional love and undeserved forgiveness. It's the smell of Jesus of Nazareth - the One who gave His life to offer the world this love and forgiveness. If you experience Him, you smell different - both what you can smell and what you smell of. I hope you smell this Easter.
¶ Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.
Matthew 26:6-7
The irony of the Passion Week culminating in the Cross is that the One who was saturated in expensive perfume was the same One who was spat at, punched repeated so that His features were marred, and His back ripped to shreds. He would be spiked to a rough, blood-stained, cross as a bloodied, putrid, near-butchered barely recognisable man. Yet. After the stenchifying work of sin had done its best at transforming the Sinless One into its complete embodiment, His true fragrance was soon smelt again but this time surprisingly it had grown sweeter. This is the fragrance of Easter. It's the fragrance of lives transformed. It's the fragrance of the guilty being acquitted. It's the fragrance of the hopeless being granted undeserved hope. And every time a sinner is found by the Saviour, the fragrance grows sweeter still. You can smell it.

Ps. Andrew

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