Monday, February 21

Sweet Smell of Sacrifice

In ancient Jewish tradition, a mother wove a seamless garment for her son when he left home. Did Mary do this for Jesus? No one knows but I’m pretty sure, if she held to tradition, she must have.

If Mary lovingly created it, Jesus wore it, probably wearing it before His betrayal when He went to Simon the leper’s house. As He reclined at the table, a woman came and broke open her beautiful, alabaster passion box, full of the extremely valuable, perfumed oil of spikenard.

As she lovingly poured it upon Jesus’ head, it likely trickled down His cheeks, seeped into His beard, and gently dripped upon His shoulders, saturating His garment. (Mark 14:3, Matt. 26:6-7)

In Eastern culture, the garment of the bridegroom was saturated with rich perfumes. As this woman lovingly poured out her precious possession upon the heavenly Bridegroom, it permeated His garment.

Almost as prophetic words, the Shulamite woman says of her beloved in the beautiful Song of Solomon, “While the king is at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance.” (SOS 1:12 NKJV)

Don’t you know that through the long hours of His agony in the garden, during His betrayal, in the courtyard of His judgment before Caiaphas and Pilate, and until that garment was removed, Jesus must have breathed in that sweet smell of sacrificial love poured out upon Him, while this scripture likely echoed in His Spirit, “The odor of your ointments is fragrant, your name is like perfume poured out.” (SOS 1:3 Amp)

As He probably did not wash His hair, the fragrance clung to it. That sweet aroma must have wafted its fragrance of love into His nostrils throughout His torment at the whipping post and while hanging on the cross, more than likely thinking, “This is for all those who will pour out their love on Me.”

Jesus’ sacrifice for our forgiveness and eternal life cost Him His life and was a sweet aroma to God, as scripture says, “God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to Him.” (Eph. 5:2b TLB)

Are our trust and faith as that sweet aroma of the alabaster passion box poured out to Jesus? Do our offerings cost us something, or do they have little meaning to us? If we give God what is of little value to us, how will it be of any value to Him? If a sacrifice is to be a true sacrifice, it must cost something to give it.

A true, sacrificial worship gift costs us the surrender of our money, for we give sacrificially, as the widow who gave her two mites. It costs us the surrender of our time, for we sacrifice it to put God first. It costs us the surrender of our hearts, for we sacrifice our love to those who hate us. It costs us the surrender of our lips, for we sacrifice our praise to God when all seems lost.

What have you given Him? What does it cost you? Will it be, as David said, “that which costs me nothing”? (2 Sam. 24:24b NKJV) Whatever it costs, it must come from a loving and willing heart.

Jesus gave you His sweet sacrifice of salvation. Have you given your life as a sacrifice back to Him, as that “sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God”? (Phil. 4:18 NKJV)

(This is submitted for Peter Pollock’s One Word at a Time Blog Carnival on the topic sacrifice. Check out Peter’s site for the other entries.)

26 Responses
  1. This is just beautiful, Lynn. So cool that we are both writing in the same vein within just a few days. Love when God does that!

  2. You have brought out some amazing facts that many of us are not aware of. The robe and his hair saturated with the perfume of the bridegroom. Our beloved the anointed one sacrificed himself for me,(and you)

  3. Glynn Says:

    What's brought to mind are the sounds and sights of the sacrifice -- the darkness, the earth shaking, the temple curtain torn in two, tombs breaking open, all the while the smells of the acceptable sacrifice -- the only one acceptable -- make their way to heaven. Good post, Lynn.

  4. "Sweet" thoughts, Lynn. We must never give up living our life as Christians, no matter how many times we fail. It is the effort that counts! Our effort brings a sweet fragrance to everything we do in His Name.

  5. katdish Says:

    Beautiful, Lynn. I've never even considered how that fragrance must have clung to Jesus.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I think the older I become, the more my children grow, the more I understand giving God the best and all that is within me. It is like a snowball rolling down the hill:)

    Stopped by from Sanctified Together to tell you how much I enjoyed your post on BFFs - and was doubly blessed with this post.

    BTW - Louisville is one of my VERY favorite cities. I'm a Middletown girl myself.

  7. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, sweet Snady! I always think it is so cool to find others writing on the same topic. It reinforces and confirms the Lord's heart to me. Thanks for stopping by. Love you!

  8. lynnmosher Says:

    Thank you so much, Hazel! So happy to drop a new nugget in your heart! Blessings to you!

  9. lynnmosher Says:

    Glynn, great comment! Such a contrast in elements, isn't it? Thank you so much for stopping by. It's always an honor to have you visit. Blessings to you!

  10. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, so true, Cecilia! So true! You make my heart happy with your visits! Thank you! Blessings to you!

  11. lynnmosher Says:

    Kat, it is an amazing thought, isn't it? Thanks so much, sweetie, for your comment. I'm so happy to have you visit. Blessings to you!

  12. lynnmosher Says: did you know about Middletown? That's where I am! So happy to see you here. Thanks so much for your comment. Be blessed!

  13. Ryan Tate Says:

    This post is beautiful. I've been blessed by it this morning. Thank you for your words, which also have a sweet smelling aroma.

  14. lynnmosher Says:

    Aw, you bless me, Ryan. Thank you so much. So nice of you to visit. Blessings to you!

  15. K.M. Weiland Says:

    One of the reasons I like the old movie The Robe is the story behind the story. The down-to-earth, often-overlooked elements of Christ's life - including the robe he wore to the cross - bring such immediacy to the stories we find of His life. Beautiful post, Lynn! Thanks for sharing.

  16. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, I'm with you, Katie! I love studying and learning about all those ancient tidbits of tradition and living. So rich and full! Thanks for stopping by, Katie-kins! Love having you visit! Blessings!

  17. Simply stunning!! This post has left me in awe... I lay myself before YOU, O' Yehwah, to be use by You, Father. In the name of the Messiah, Yeshua, Amen!

  18. Lovely, Lynn! Thanks for including all the historical references.

    I love the thought that the aroma remained with Him throughout His crucifixion. Beautiful. This post reminds me of the scripture that says our prayers rise before the throne like incense.

  19. As a collector of biblical culture trivia, I really appreciate that tidbit about the seamless garment. I'll have to look for a place to work it into my biblical fiction. Thanks!

    As for the fragrance, I use essential oils and have a small vial with oil of spikenard. On the rare occasion when I wear it, i remind myself that this is the smell Jesus wore when He took my sins. It is to me the smell of consummate love and consummate sacrifice.

  20. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, my! Thank you so much, dear Kimberly! You bless me!

  21. lynnmosher Says:

    Thank you so much, Jeanne! Yes, I was going to use that but then my post kept growing! LOL I've always loved that scripture and thought. Blessings to you!

  22. lynnmosher Says:

    Anne, thank you so much for taking to read this and comment. I'm honored. We miss out so much when we don't know the background traditions and family living of the Hebrews/Jews.

    That's so cool about your spikenard. wear some of that and partake of communion! Wow!

  23. Lynn, as others mentioned, I've never really thought about how the fragrance must have stayed on Jesus's body and garments until he died.
    Just like the prophecies promised long before...

  24. lynnmosher Says:

    Thanks so much, Cris, for stopping by. It is an awesome thought about the lasting aroma, isn't it? Blessings to you!

  25. Great post, Lynn. Such an enriching blessing to use all of our senses when imagining the Biblical scenes. Thank you so much. Also great questions! God bless you!

  26. Loni Says:

    It was so neat reading the details of this . . . much of which I did not know. And I know how scents bring memories . . . I wonder the memories they remembered.