The Sweet Aroma of the Knowledge of Christ

The Sweet Aroma of the Knowledge of Christ                              August 7, 2022

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.  For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.  And who is adequate for these things.” (II Corinthians 2:14-16)

From reading the gospels, especially the gospel of John, one discovers what Jesus was like in various situations in life.  That knowledge is described by the apostle Paul as a sweet aroma.  It is not repulsive but sweet, pleasant and acceptable.

The apostles witnessed how Jesus responded to difficult situations such as ridicule, mocking, opposition, being accused of being a blasphemer, threats, physical and mental abuse, etc.  They saw one who was in control of His emotions while He was under duress.  They saw that He entrusted His emotions to God during those times rather than give into human weakness and revengeful tactics. The apostle Peter speaks of it this way, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to God who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (I Peter 2:21-24).

How was Jesus a sweet aroma?  The life of Christ was a life of sacrifice in which He lived not for Himself but for God and others.  He wouldn’t allow anything or anyone derail Him from completing His God-given purpose on earth.  He loved God and others too much for that to happen. 

Throughout the Bible, when a sacrifice was accepted by God, it was a fragrant and acceptable aroma to Him like the burnt offering Noah made to God after the flood (Genesis 8:20-21).  See also passages like Exodus 29:18, 25; Leviticus 1:9, 17; 3:5, 16; Ezekiel 20:41.

It seems odd to think of our life as an aroma but that’s what it is.  Noticed by God and others it is either pleasant or unpleasant, attractive or repulsive.  Knowing this to be true, have you ever considered what kind of aroma your life offers to others?  Is it the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Christ or is it the aroma of one who is unwilling to allow Christ to be noticed in their life?

Brian Thompson

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