My favorite scents are vanilla, pumpkin, babies, books, homemade bread, coconut and suntan lotion, campfires and lilac. Some smells evoke memories of my childhood: reading my mom’s Nancy Drew books and visiting libraries and bookstores, going to the pool, and walking around my college campus during spring. Some scents are comforting. Some invigorate. Some help me relax.
We are made in the image of God. A God who also loves pleasing aromas.
Imagine Noah in the ark: 40 days with hundreds of animals. Would his small family have been able to keep up with cleaning the manure of all those animals? Doubtful. I assume the ark stunk. And outside the floodwaters would have carried the decay of all of humanity, besides Noah’s family. But when Noah finally left the ark and made a sacrifice of clean animals and birds, the smoke rose to Heaven, and the scent pleased God.
Throughout the Old Testament, there are instructions on how Israel was to make offerings and sacrifices to God. The aromas of the grain, animals, drink, and incense pleased God.
In the New Testament, under the new covenant, Jesus died as a final sacrifice to take away the sins of those who believe in him. And the aroma of that sacrifice pleased God. Ephesians 5:2
Did you know we can have a pleasing aroma to God as well? When we spread the knowledge of God to others, we are the pleasant aroma of Christ. When we spread the Gospel, we bring the scent of life into a dying world.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?2 Corinthians 2:14-16
It is incredible to think that if I am sharing the Gospel and telling others about Jesus, the creator of Heaven and earth is breathing deeply and is pleased with the scent of my obedience.