The Aroma of Salvation

Burn the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD.It is a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the LORD. – Exodus 29:18 (ESV)

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. - 2 Cor. 2:15 (ESV)

The Lord instituted offerings in the Old Testament. We are told they were sweet-smelling offerings and a pleasing aroma to the Lord. What does that mean?

It means there was a “smell” of sacrifice that pleased God. Later we would understand this to be a sign pointing to Jesus Christ. His life and death were pleasing to God. His death signalled the fulfilment of the Old Testament sacrifices.

However, the phrase “we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” is perplexing. What does it mean to us?

Dr Milton of Faith for Living believes this means that “the life of our Lord is now all over us. His blood covers our sins. His life fulfils the perfect law of God on our behalf. Christ has died, risen and ascended. His life is now on us. His life in us reminds us of our Father.”

This verse in 2 Corinthians 2:15 says the aroma of Jesus on His saints is an aroma sensed by those perishing. This is what happens when the gospel goes to those who reject Christ. It is a testimony to their hard heartedness and smells of death. Yet whoever turns to Christ will be saved.

We thank God, through the lives of His people, though our Saviour is in heaven, He is here with us through the sweet aroma of Christ on all His people.

When we are in church or in bible class or doing personal quiet time, we are open to the medicine cabinet of His Word. Take a whiff of his grace. May it be pleasing to God and to those who are being saved. May it awaken others to the sweet smell of life in Christ.

May you know the aroma of His love this day.

Pastor Robert Chew

Extracted from an address by Michael A. Milton, Ph.D., President and CEO of Faith for Living and a contributing editor to Preaching Magazine