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What’s That Smell?!


I can’t say that I have spent much time contemplating Leviticus in the Scriptures. The book is filled with God’s communication with Moses on the guidelines of social conduct along with the schedule of sin and guilt offerings required when said guidelines were broken.

The specifics being put into place aren’t pretty. Slaughter and blood-covered alters and priests doesn’t bode well with our modern audience, but it’s not the scene that disturbs me the most. It’s the smell I imagine. In my head I keep hearing CSIs saying, “We got decomp here.” The stench of death must have been present in the tabernacle yet we hear the Scriptures tell us the burnt offerings were “an aroma pleasing to the Lord.”

Instead of death and all its gruesomeness, it was the sweet scent of obedience that reached God’s nose when the people offered up sacrifices. Making a sacrifice was an outward expression of their inward heart that was seeking to obey God.

They were acting in submission to Him.

They were putting their faith in Him.

They were being His people.

And to God that was indeed a pleasing aroma.

Though we do not follow the same rules of sacrifice laid out in Leviticus today, we are still called to live in obedience.  Romans 12 calls us to be a ‘living sacrifice’ wholly following Him and living in a life that proves our faith. What’s more, living a life that proves our faith, people around us will see our God is who he claims to be—A God of Truth and Faithfulness. This leads to God using “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.” [2 Corinthians 2:14-15]  

Here’s how The Message puts it—

Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma [full] with life.

The end of verse 16 of 2 Corinthians 2 asks, “And who is equal to such a task?”   Who is equipped to do this job? I believe it will be those who are willing to live out their faith in obedience.  And obedience has the pleasing aroma of life that seems to get everyone’s attention.

For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus’ life may also be revealed in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you. ♥

2 Corinthians 4:11-12

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