THE FRAGRANCE OF CHRIST
“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:15 NKJV)
Under the Old Covenant, when a worshipper brings his burnt offering to God to make atonement for his sins, after sprinkling the blood of the sheep or goat (a male without blemish) all around on the altar, then “the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD.” (Lev. 1:9 NKJV).
When God smells the sweet fragrance from the burnt offering, He forgives and blesses the worshipper. This is simply a shadow of the good things to come through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, not the very image of the things (Heb. 10:1).
In response to the pleasing and soothing fragrance from Noah’s burnt offerings, God blessed him and his sons and made a new covenant with Noah.
Genesis 8:20-21 – NKJV
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21 And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
Genesis 9:1-3 – NKJV
1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
2 “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand.
3 “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.
Likewise, Jacob received the blessing of the firstborn, though he was not the firstborn of Isaac, by putting on the garments of Esau (the firstborn) and the skins of the young goats on his hands and neck so that he may smell like Esau.
Genesis 27:15-16 – NKJV
15 Then Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son.
16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck.
Even though Isaac recognized Jacob’s voice, he blessed him because he recognized the smell, for Jacob smelled like Esau, Isaac’s firstborn.
Genesis 27:26-29 – NKJV
26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near now and kiss me, my son.”
27 And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said: “Surely, the smell of my son Is like the smell of a field Which the LORD has blessed.
28 Therefore may God give you Of the dew of heaven, Of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and wine.
29 Let peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, And let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, And blessed be those who bless you!”
All the rituals or sacrifices under the Old Covenant and many notable events recorded in the Old Testament are mere shadows, types, or representations of spiritual truths and realities under the New Covenant.
Hebrews 10:1 – NKJV
1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.
God forgiving and blessing the worshippers because of smelling the soothing and pleasing fragrance of their burnt offerings is simply pointing to God’s intent, plan, or purpose to forgive and bless all humanity because of being pleased with the soothing aroma or fragrance of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for the sins of the whole world (John 1:29, 1 John 2:2, 4:10).
Similarly, Isaac blessing Jacob with the blessing of the firstborn, which he did not deserve but got simply because Isaac was pleased with the way Jacob smelled as a result of him putting on the garments of Esau and the skins of the goats is pointing to the way God will bless the sinners, who don’t deserve His blessings, simply because of the righteousness of His firstborn, Jesus Christ, bestowed upon them by their faith in the finished work of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21, Col. 1:18, Rev. 1:5).
God is infinitely more pleased with the soothing fragrance that emanated from Christ’s sacrifice on the cross than He was with the fragrance from all the burnt offerings offered to Him under the Old Covenant.
So, if God could forgive and bless people under the Old Covenant just by smelling the fragrance from their burnt offerings which are only mere shadows or types of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, how then would God not freely forgive and bless people now because of the fragrance from Christ’s perfect sacrifice on the cross?
When Jacob put on the garments of Esau (Isaac’s firstborn), he smelled like the firstborn in the presence of Isaac, their father, and thus obtained the blessing of the firstborn, which he didn’t deserve.
Likewise, every born-again believer has been clothed with the garments of salvation and covered with the robe of righteousness of Christ, thereby smelling like Christ in God’s presence.
Consequently, the born-again believers have received the blessing of Christ, which they don’t deserve (2 Cor. 5:21, Eph. 1:3).
This was revealed to Prophet Isaiah, and he prophesied about it.
Isaiah 61:10 – NKJV
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Therefore, Paul called the believers “the fragrance of Christ” in His epistles.
2 Corinthians 2:15 – NKJV
15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
If indeed you are born again through faith in Christ Jesus and His atoning sacrifice, you are now the fragrance of Christ to God, having been covered with the robe of righteousness of Christ, and God is well pleased with you just as He is well pleased with Christ (Eph. 1:6, Matt. 3:17, 17:5).
As far as God is concerned, there is no difference between you and Christ in how you smell to Him. Having been united with the Lord Jesus Christ, you are now one spirit with Christ (1 Cor. 6:17), and as Christ is, so are you now in this present world before God (1 John 4:17).
The devil will go to any length to keep you away from understanding this gospel truth and from walking in the revelation knowledge of this potent truth!
Although Isaac recognized Jacob’s voice and so the imperfection, yet he went ahead and blessed him because of the soothing fragrance emanating from the garment of his firstborn (Esau) that Jacob had put on and clothed himself with.
Similarly, being a fragrance of Christ to God does not imply that you have attained the moral perfection of Christ, but it does imply that you now have unlimited access to all that belongs to Christ.
God has blessed you with all the blessings that rightfully belong to Christ because you smell like Christ to Him (1 Cor. 3:21-23, 2 Pet. 1:3).
Ephesians 1:3 – NKJV
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
This is what grace is all about! Hallelujah!
Beloved, God wants you to always approach Him with absolute confidence that He is well pleased with you in Christ, not because of your self-righteousness, performance, or good works, but because of the robe of righteousness of Christ that you have put on through your faith in Christ and His finished work.
Therefore, you should always pray to God in faith and with confidence, boldness, and assurance that God will answer your prayers as He would answer the prayers of Christ, for God sees and smells you in the robe of righteousness of Christ as Jesus Christ, His firstborn.
Moreover, you should always wield your spiritual authority with boldness in this world as Christ did while He was in the world.
Friend, you are a sweet, soothing, and pleasing fragrance of Christ to God in this world. Therefore, arise today and begin to spread the sweet and soothing fragrance of Christ everywhere you go in this world.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I am so glad to know today that I am a sweet and soothing fragrance of Christ to You. Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to always spread the fragrance of Christ in this world, in Jesus’ name. Amen.