The Savor of Crushing

Cutting the grass for a single mom.

When you cut certain plants down, they emit a certain aroma. In some cases, that aroma is pleasant. It is similar to myrrh and spikenard. Myrrh is obtained by piercing a certain tree, which then emits a resin. Spikenard can be used as a perfume, after crushing the rhizome/rootstalk. In both cases, a fragrant odor is obtained by piercing or crushing. Both of these show us the glory of Jesus in His death.

In the gospels, a certain woman named Mary anoints Jesus’ head with spikenard, a very precious perfume,

"And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on His head." [Mk 14:3]

John shows us that she also anoints Jesus’ feet,

"Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment." [Jn 12:3]

The perfume from this box was very expensive, and very fragrant. Jesus says regarding this, “she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.” [Mk 14:8] This occurred two days before the Passover supper, which was the same day that Jesus would be killed [Mk 14:3, Mt 26:2]; the perfume would still have been upon Jesus, and throughout all the torture and His eventual hanging on the cross, the scent from it would have still been noticeable. Jesus’ death was accompanied by this scent; and spiritually, His death was a pleasing fragrance to The Father as well. Paul writes in Ephesians,

"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling odor." [Eph 5:1-2]

This sweet smelling fragrance which Jesus’ death produced is in fulfilment of the Old Testament sacrifices, which were often said to be “of a sweet odor unto The LORD.”

Isaiah writes, “it pleased The LORD to crush Him,” as so, just as the crushing of spikenard produces a very fragrant oil, so too the crushing of God’s son produced a fragrant aroma. Jesus was crushed by The Father for our sakes, and because of what Jesus has done, “we are unto God a sweet odor of Christ” and God uses us to make “manifest the odor” of the knowledge of Jesus everywhere we go. Paul says that to those who are saved, “we are the odor of life unto life” but to those who are unsaved, “the odor of death unto death.” [2 Cor 2:14-16] As we die to our own desires and lives, taking up our cross daily to follow Jesus, Jesus’ life is “made manifest in our mortal flesh,” and it produces a fragrance that is well pleasing to our Father. As Paul instructs us, “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well-pleasing unto God, which is your logical service.”

Myrrh is obtained by piercing a tree, as stated earlier, and so just as the tree is pierced to obtain a fragrant element, Jesus “was pierced for our transgressions” upon the cross, which is often called in the New Testament, “a tree.”

Through Jesus’ life, we see that His death produced a “fragrant aroma.” Likewise, our lives can produce the same fragrant aroma to God, and to others.

Post: Offering Jesus a Beautiful Garden

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