The life and death of Jesus became a pleasing aroma to God. The Bible tells us how to experience the sweet fragrance of Christ. Our story today begins with an expensive perfume being poured over Jesus’ head. And ends with the aroma of our lives pleasing God.
While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. Matthew 26:7
In the timeline of our Lord’s life here on the earth, He was getting close to the end. Jesus and His disciples supped at Simon’s home. A woman poured expensive perfume on the head of Jesus. The text in this chapter says;
The disciples were indignant when they saw this. It goes on to say “What a waste!” They said, “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” Matthew 26:8-9
This same story is recorded in Matthew, Mark 14, and possibly John 12. There is also a similar story in Luke 7 which could have been a different incident. In John, it tells us that Mary the sister of Lazarus was the one who anointed Jesus with the perfume. It is also in the book of John that tells us who led the complaints about wasting the money.
The Disciples’ Experience
But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” John 12:4-5
Jesus’ response was,
She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” John 12:7-8
In verse 13, Jesus said;
“I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” Matthew 26:13
The Passover meal was two days away when this conversation took place. Now I’m not quite sure about the bathing practices of that day. But because of its expense, the possibility existed that the smell of this perfume lingered for days. Maybe it remained in his beard the night of His arrest.
I wonder if after His resurrection if the smell of that perfume was still lingering. Paul talks about the fragrance of Christ in 2 Corinthians 2:15.
Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. 2 Corinthians 2:15.
This isn’t like the perfume poured on Jesus.
The Sweet Fragrance of Christ
Verse 16 says, To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. 2 Corinthians 2:16
I think sometimes we are more concerned about how bad our life’s aroma is to unsaved people. We should be more concerned that the aroma of Christ in us rising to God.
The book of Ephesians tells us in chapter 5 where our Christ-like fragrance comes from. Verse 2 says,
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. Ephesians 5:2
Jesus showed His love for us by dying on the cross. Live your life filled with love so you can be a pleasing aroma to God.
Lord, help us to follow the example of Jesus so we can please you by living a life of love.
Read all about Jesus anointing in Matthew 26.
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