Tuesday, 8 May 2018

The Fragrance of Christ

Scripture: Matthew 26 v 7:  "There came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head......" 

2 Corinthians 2 v 14 - 15: "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.  For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish."

This alabaster box contained a very expensive perfume and the unnamed woman came to Jesus to pour the whole bottle over His head while He was eating. She did this as an expression of her love for Him because He had ministered to her and set her free of many sins. He said that what she had done for Him must be shared forever wherever the Gospel is preached. 

It was something that really upset His disciples though. They considered it a waste of costly perfume which could have been sold and the money given to the poor. Jesus called it a good work as it was done for His burial, although some time before His death.  Only He knew that there would be no time for burial ointments immediately after His death, and before they could get to Him he would be resurrected.

The fragrance was trapped inside this marble box, which had to be broken before the perfume could be extracted.  Her act of love manifested in a deeper spiritual message - it was His death that would release Grace for all who would believe in His salvation.  Grace was the costly fragrance of Christ, which accompanies the gospel.  This was what had to be spread around the world, and this woman who broke the alabaster box set the fragrance of Jesus Christ in motion to this day.

We need to break our alabaster box within us too, so that the power of the Holy Spirit can flow forth from our hearts. Our hardness of heart must yield to the Saviour no matter what the cost.  The alabaster box represents our soul with all it's pride, flaws and bondages. Until it is broken the essence of Christ cannot flow out from us in an effective and powerful way.

In 2 Corinthians 2 Jesus makes manifest the fragrance of His knowledge through us to the whole world. He has to break through our flesh to release this sweet odour so that everywhere we go we spread it around.  Our flesh puts up a struggle which blocks the release of our spirit to touch the needs of others.  It must be conquered so that Jesus in our hearts can manifest His grace and message like a perfume poured out upon the world.

It is the truth about Jesus being shared that produces this fragrance.  The more we share the stronger it gets in our own lives.  There is a beautiful testimony of a prominent Muslim woman, Bilquis Sheik, in her book, I Dared to Call Him Father, who had a garden full of fragrant flowers.  One day she smelled an unfamiliar perfume in her garden.  She could not find the source of it.

She was convicted in heart to read the New Testament and found the 2 Corinthians 2 scripture about the sweet fragrance of Jesus Christ.  At that moment she smelled it again and knew that Jesus was real and became born again and a great witness throughout the world to His saving grace.

The Spirit of God is moving, stirring up righteousness, stirring the Living Waters so don't be left stranded jump in and flow with Him in glorious liberty.  He wants to use each one of us in small or great ways to reveal His love and bring people to salvation.

Don't become a stumbling block through your stubbornness, pride and religion.  Religion is a system of binding rules and rites to help you please God and it never does! Christianity is the life of freedom given by God when He finds you. Pour out the contents of your broken alabaster box to glorify Jesus in His resurrection power. It will show Him that you are willing to sacrifice something you treasure to bless Him. 

Prayer: Father God I pray that today You will break our alabaster boxes to pour forth the love, peace, joy and truth of the Gospel to a dying world. Help us to let that sweet savour of Christ permeate the atmosphere wherever we go.  The closer that day comes the stronger the fragrance of Christ should be! Let us glorify You. In Jesus' name. Amen.