Do you smell that? Is it starting to smell like Christmas at your house? When you opened the boxes to begin decorating did a flood of smells fill your senses and bring back memories of Christmas’s past? Yesterday after I finished pondering the memories brought to mind by the strong scent of the Vicks, I couldn’t help but start thinking about other scented memories. I thought about the candles that remind me of my mom’s house, the smell of a library filled with books or an old church or museum. I remember the smell of places that hold fond memories and can be brought back to them in an instant. I recently told someone I seldom imagine things in my minds eye…like in pictures…but place a familiar scent in front of me and I can give you details of a place from long ago. When I think of fond memories I can almost smell them.
That made me wonder what scents would bring memories flooding back into some of my favorite Bible characters’ minds. Was there a flower or herb that Eve loved because it brought her back to a favorite spot in the Garden when she would take in its aroma? Did Noah and his sons have flashbacks to the ark when they’d step in something a little too “fresh” out in the field? What about Moses? I wonder if that burning bush smelled of smoke? I wonder if Moses thought of that every time he was near a campfire after that? Or what about Joseph and his coat? I wonder if there was a fabric in the castle that smelled or felt like the fabric of that coat? My list of inquiries could go on….
I was curious to see what I could find in the Bible about scents and fragrance and aroma…
It didn’t take long to find out that the One in whose Image we were made was pretty fond of smells. 🙂
15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may [i]breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out [j]by their families from the ark.
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said [k]to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the [l]intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again [m]destroy every living thing, as I have done.
22 “While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease.” – Genesis 8:15-22
6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. 8 But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? 9 For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. 11 For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. 12 For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13 Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.” – Matthew 26:6-13
I wonder what scents remind others of me? No, I am not trying to be funny…although…wait, where was I?
Oh yeah! My favorite discovery as I pondered this whole aroma thing in God’s word…
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? – 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved [a]you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God [b]as a fragrant aroma. – Ephesians 5:1-2
My life…lived for Christ…lived as an imitator of Him…lifts a fragrant aroma up to God. As a believer I smell like Christ to God. I would imagine that to be one of God’s favorite smells, His only son. Not only does He see me clothed in righteousness, spotless thru His son, He also smells something much better than me when He closes His eyes. He breathes in the sweet aroma of Jesus.
Now that is a smell I’d like to bottle…