May 1, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." 2 Corinthians 2:15
When the Magi came with their offerings to Jesus, what did they bring? They brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This scene captured the imagination of English royalty. Every January 6, the date commemorating the coming of the Magi with their gifts, the King or Queen of England takes to the Royal Chapel an offering of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The monarch recognizes that the privilege, responsibility, and position as the ruler of England is by God's grace, and brings an offering of a "sweet-smelling savor" to the King of Kings! What a wonderful gesture of love, adoration, and recognition of their place before Almighty God.
Have you ever wondered where myrrh came from? It comes from a tree in North Africa. It is stripped and then stabbed with a knife until it bleeds large opaque tears that are dried and ground then dissolved in a solution until it becomes a fragrant perfume. How symbolic this is of what needs to take place in our lives before we can be a "sweet smelling aroma" to God.
There are three places in the Scriptures that this phrase, a "sweet smelling aroma," is used. First, when Mary anointed the head of Jesus with the perfume from her broken alabaster box. Wasted? No, it was an expression of gratitude, adoration, and love given as a "sweet smelling savor" to Christ. She gave to Christ the best and most treasured thing she had, and Christ commended her for such devotion.
Second, Paul thanks the believers in Philippi for sending him an offering when he was in Macedonia on a missionary journey. No other church had done that, and he said, "it was a means of life to me, but it was a sweet smelling savor that you gave. God saw it, and it was a joy to Him to see that expression of your love."
Third, Paul says, "Thanks be unto God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet smelling aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are the 'fragrance of Christ' to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing."
What is the message in these three passages? "For whosoever shall save his life shall lose it, but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall find it." It takes us back to the tree in North Africa, to what needs to take place in our lives. Our old life and sinful nature have to be brought to the foot of the cross and crucified. His grace permeates our lives under His lordship and authority. Then we are made into a sweet smelling aroma that spreads to all that are in its presence, an aroma of His life lived through us!
What happens when we lose our old "self life"? We lose all those things that distract and are an abomination to God, that keep us in the bondage of our own selfish interests. What do we gain? HIS LIFE, the INDWELLING OF HIS PRESENCE that lives through us and makes our lives a "sweet smelling aroma to God that spreads everywhere to the saved and to those that are perishing." That's incredible! HIS LIFE LIVED IN AND THROUGH US!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-05-01
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