When [my daughter] was a baby I used to carry her with her head on my chest and I would breathe in her baby smell and I remember offering her to another family member to sniff because she smelled so beautiful. From the moment I took my first breath as a mummy, it’s my favourite fragrance in the world, matched only by that of her little sister.
My friend Helen Murray wrote those words and they got me thinking….
To the Father, I smell like Jesus.
What does it mean to smell like Jesus? We’re not talking aftershave here.
Jesus: Scents of Justice and Mercy
Before Jesus came, God’s people had to offer animal sacrifices as a temporary payment for their wrong-doing. The payment for wrong-doing is death but God accepted offerings of sheep, goats and cows so that the people wouldn’t have to die and be separated from Him. Such offerings smelled of God’s justice and mercy and are described as being a pleasant scent to Him.
All those temporary sacrifices pointed to the one perfect sacrifice: Jesus. When He willingly gave Himself up for me, the Father saw it as a fragrant offering and accepted His sacrifice. Jesus paid for my wrong-doing fully. There’s nothing left to pay. And that smells good to the Father.
Smell Like Jesus: Live Like Jesus
The Bible urges me to imitate God.
Because I’m His beloved child.
By walking in love. Love looks like what Jesus did, giving up His life. Jesus said that the greatest love is to lay down your life for your friends.
Smell Like Jesus: Love Like Jesus
For most of us, love won’t look like dying for someone. Although it might….
It means thinking and acting more like a community than an individual. This is something my church is focused on at the moment, building authentic community.
For example, between Christmas and New Year our old washing machine died. Aaaaggghhh! What to do? Friends from church had recently moved into the area and happily gave me a key to their house so I could pop round and use their washing machine for the next eight weeks. There was some sacrifice on their part and lots of gratitude on mine.
Sacrifice can mean having a little less ‘me’ time so I can focus on others.
Someone said recently that the opposite of love isn’t hate but selfishness. That makes a lot of sense.
When we love like Jesus, it smells nice to the Father.
Smell Like Jesus: Give Like Jesus
Jesus is my treasure. He has generously given me forgiveness, peace, freedom, love, joy. But best of all, He has given me Himself. I know Him and He knows me. I love Him because He loved me first and showed me what love really is. Jesus likes me. Wow! (Whoop! Whoop!)
The more I grasp this, the less I want to hold onto my money and the more I want to give because of this amazing God who loves me.
Yes, it’s important to be sensible and plan for the future.
But when we give joyfully and sacrificially out of an overflow of thankfulness to this wonderful God who loves us, it smells beautiful to Him.
Smell Like Jesus: Be Like Jesus
God says that His children are a fragrant aroma to people around us. Wherever we go, people get a whiff of Jesus.
The next time you squirt on your perfume or aftershave, remember that you already smell heavenly. You smell like Jesus.