The Fragrance of Christ
By: Marion Stroud
2 Corinthians 2:14-17
We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:15
Which of the five senses brings back your memories most sharply? For me it is definitely the sense of smell. A certain kind of sun oil takes me instantly to a French beach. The smell of chicken mash brings back childhood visits to my grandmother. A hint of pine says “Christmas,” and a certain kind of aftershave reminds me of my son’s teenage years.
Paul reminded the Corinthians that they were the aroma of Christ: “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ” (2 Cor. 2:15). He may have been referring to Roman victory parades. The Romans made sure everyone knew they had been victorious by burning incense on altars throughout the city. For the victors, the aroma was pleasing; for the prisoners it meant certain slavery or death. So as believers, we are victorious soldiers. And when the gospel of Christ is preached, it is a pleasing fragrance to God.
As the aroma of Christ, what perfumes do Christians bring with them as they walk into a room? It’s not something that can be bought in a bottle or a jar. When we spend a lot of time with someone, we begin to think and act like that person. Spending time with Jesus will help us spread a pleasing fragrance to those around us.
Lord, please shape my thoughts and actions so people may sense that I have been with You.
When we walk with God, people will notice.
The imagery of a pleasing aroma coming up before the Lord appears in several different ways in Scripture. In the Old Testament, one of the pieces of furniture in the tabernacle was the altar for burning incense (Ex. 30:1). Along with the lampstand and the table for the bread of the Presence, the incense altar was in the holy place—just outside the Holy of Holies. In Revelation 8:3–4 incense is offered on the altar in heaven. This incense is connected to the prayers of the people of God. We see that not only can our lives be a pleasing aroma to God, but our prayers can be as well. Bill Crowder