Once I had had the privilege of making a fresh headway onto a garden. From far off place, the garden looked like a red carpet carpeted over the ground for tennis play or for some musical opera to be performed. The rich golden flowering trees greeted us with the red carpet welcome. A medley of colors was thrown up everywhere. It seemed that the garden was ready for some celebration. The earth being littered red with petals the mood was simply pretty divine. As we came nearer the place, I saw that it was all roses and roses only. Beauty in her red and purple costume comes here and goes with her exotic smiles. I could also see that some of the young shoots in the plants began poking their heads through the stems and some tender green leaves unfurling themselves in the sunlight.
The beauty I have experienced here is amazing and perhaps romantic. In Wordsworth’s words it must be “the emotion recollected in tranquility”. What was more fascinating and thrilling was that I was overwhelmingly sensitive of a sweet perfume which made me active and alive. The whole area was scented by the perfume. I could see the beauty but surprisingly not the odor. It must have come from the hearts of the roses and certainly not from the other side of the hedge. The beauty and the sweet odor as they are the most integral parts of the flower began to have a greater resonance in my life like those of the young green shoots sprouting through the stems with a meaning in life.
When I think of this experience in terms of Christ in II Cor. 2:15 , I do really wonder how much we awe to God.
“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.” KJV
“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” (NIV)
“Everywhere we go, people breath in exquisite fragrance, Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God……….” Message
“Our lives are Christ- like fragrance rising up to God….” New Living Translation
“God considers us to be the sweet smell that Christ is spreading among people….” New International Reader’s Version.
“For we are like sweet smelling incense offered by Christ to God…..” Good News Translation.
“Beauty without perfume” makes me a sense of incompleteness. But I can see this completeness in the person of our Lord Jesus. The word ‘Savour’ in KJV is also translated as smell, fragrance or sweetness. The key word is found in Gen. 8:21. The word is associated with the sacrificial offering i.e., the burnt offering.
“And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake….” Ge. 8:21
The word gives an expression of expiation, satisfaction and a gracious acceptance of the offering of Noah by God. The word gives a marvelous symbolic significance in the N.T. context. Jesus indeed became the sweet savour to God through His sacrifice for our sins. Paul also gives away the most appropriate meaning of the word associating it to the believers. The significance is that Christians are like sweet fragrance to God. Indeed they are like a vessel where Christ Himself dwells releasing the fragrance of knowledge of Christ among the saved and also among those perishing.
As the sweet fragrance of Christ, we have to spread the sweet fragrance among the people in the world. Paul also further elevates the meaning calling it as “the fragrance of love” in the Christian life loving one another as much as “..Christ also hath loved us and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour “ Eph. 5:2.
Dear reader, do you believe that you can become a sweet fragrance of Christ by following Jesus as Lord?
Dear Lord Jesus, I want to accept you as my Lord and Savior. Lord help me become a sweet savor of you so that many people can see your Salvation in me. Amen.