Scientists tell us that the sense of smell contributes to more vivid and clear memory recall than any of the other human senses. Have you ever thought about the things Jesus smelled? Or about the memories others recalled about Jesus because of the way He smelled?
Less than a week before His crucifixion, Mary anointed Jesus with a highly-scented spice called spikenard (see John 12:1-8; Mark 14:3-9; and Matthew 26:6-13). Let me rephrase that: Mary didn’t just “anoint” Jesus as we think about that word today, she doused Him in a lifetime supply of this fragrance. Some people complained, but Jesus told those sour people that it was absolutely beautiful what she had done, as Jesus carried this aroma with Him to the Cross.
After He died on the Cross, Joseph and Nicodemus prepared Jesus for burial with 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes (see John 19:38-40). Think about that: seventy-five pounds! In doing so they actually fulfilled a prophesy from the Old Testament about King Jesus’ triumphal return to life—
Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has set You above Your companions by anointing You with the oil of joy. All Your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia… (Psalm 45:6-8).
Jesus carried a powerful aroma with Him all the way to the Cross, into the tomb, and when He burst forth alive from the tomb!
Without Christ, our lives carry the stench of death. We cannot come into our Heavenly Father’s presence because of that putrid smell clinging to us. But when God forgives us of our sins as we place our faith in Jesus, we are wrapped in the robes of Christ: we smell like Him and are welcomed into the Father’s presence.
Easter is a reminder of how a forgiven Christian should now live—
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).
…Now [God] uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God… (2 Corinthians 2:14-15).
How do you smell? Do you smell like Jesus? Are others attracted to the aroma of Christ because of what they smell in you? Smelling good honors the work Jesus did on the Cross and in overcoming the grave.