Do people smell you? Before you grab your deodorant, consider another question. Did people smell Jesus?
John 12:1-11 gives the interesting account of Jesus’ last visit with His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus, who He had earlier raised from the dead.
They were sharing a meal when “Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped His Feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
What was the significance of this act? Everywhere Jesus went after that moment of His Anointing, the sweet fragrance of nard could be detected.
As He went through the streets of Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday, His Fragrance filled the air.
As He ate at what we have come to call The Last Supper, His Fragrance filled the air.
As He spent time in The Garden of Gethsemane, the breeze carried His Sweet Fragrance through the trees.
The nard rose from the pores of His Skin, its smell reaching Herod, Pilate, the crowd, and the soldiers who were crucifying Him.
The sweet smell covered the smell of sweat, blood and decaying bodies. It lingered in the air even after Jesus was taken to the tomb.
Why was the smell important? Smells trigger memories. God uniquely designed our bodies in such a way that smells are processed through our noses to a part of the brain directly connected with memory and emotion.
Interestingly, visual, auditory (sound) and tactile (touch) information do not pass through these areas of the brain.
When Jesus was not present in His earthly body and could not be seen, heard or touched, memories would fade. But the smell would not fade in their memory.
Once triggered, those who had once been enveloped in the sweetness of His Presence would feel His Presence once again.
Jesus wanted all who were in His Presence to remember the day when the sweet smell of Life triumphed over the stench of death.
Would that smell last forever? Yes, it does. Jesus gave up one body to live in our many bodies. It is His desire to fill the world with the knowledge of His Presence.
How will He do that? Through us. What fragrance are you sharing?
Take a few moments and breathe in His Presence. And then share it with the world.
“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.”
2 Corinthians 2:15-17