Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. This fragrance is perceived by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.
It was customary in the Roman Empire after a major victory in battle to celebrate before the citizens of Rome with magnificent parades. A part of the ceremonies, fragrances and incense would be burned throughout the city as the armies marched through the city to the sound of triumphant music and sweet aroma of victory. Even those that did not attend the parade could hear the music and smell the sweet aroma and they knew that Rome had been victorious.
The Lord is trying to show us here that the effect that Christ living in us should have. There should be a fragrance of grace that permeates the air around us as we live victoriously in Christ. What a privilege and an honor to give off a sweet savor to God and the world as Christ lives in us, through us, and for us. We are literally Christ’s sweet savor to God. In Christ in whom we have our salvation, we are that which Jesus has appointed, and which Christ has devoted and consecrated to God by the sacrifice of His blood. We are the offering of His righteousness, set forth by His death and sealed by His resurrection, an eternal sacrifice of a sweet fragrance in His blood which He is continually making to God on our behalf.
As the redeemed of Christ we are a sweet smell in the nostrils of our God. We are the fragrance of Christ. As we proclaim the Gospel of our Lord, and stand against sin we are fulfilling the will of the Father in Christ Jesus.
We ourselves are not the sweet fragrance; it has nothing to do with us. We are born of a corruptible nature with a sinful heart. It is the gift of God in Christ Jesus that fills the air with the sweet aroma of victory in salvation through our lives as we are led by His Spirit.
We are privileged to share this good news and are to live our lives as to examples of this grace in all we say and do. In the Old Testament, Aaron and the priests under the law would pour the anointing oil upon their heads; it would run down upon their beards, and onto their garments. They would be adorned with a sweet fragrance, a perfume that came from the anointing on the outside of their bodies. We have been anointed with a holy oil on the inside from Christ Jesus by His Spirit. And this anointing will never wear out, it cannot be washed off, its fragrance is eternal. Unlike the priests in the Old Testament who wore the fragrance on the outside, our High Priest adorns us from the inside, giving us the sweet fragrance of grace as a testament to the world and to God the Father.
As we lift Jesus up in our lives and accept Him as our Savior, the sweet savor of His sacrifice is lifted up to God. In this God is pleased as he writes our names into the Lamb’s Book of Life, showing us that He is pleased with the sweet aroma of grace. We are the fragrance of Christ. In Him we have our gifts, grace, and comfort. He is the good news which we proclaim to the world. The sweet aroma and fragrance of the sweet presence of Christ in our hearts is made possible by His blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and grace. It is as we find ourselves basking in His glory; forgiven by His blood; that our lives reflect the gift of God in Christ Jesus and we become a sweet fragrance to God. In this we are grateful and well pleasing to the Lord, as we show forth His glory and honor, proclaiming salvation to the world, comfort to hurting and lost and victory to the enemy.
There is no sweeter smell than the smell of grace in Christ Jesus, and it is you and I that are the recipients of that grace. In Christ, we are the ointment poured out at Calvary, dipped in His blood and left as a sweet odor to the Father and those around us as we live our lives redeemed by love.
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.