The Aroma of Christ

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 2:12-17

People react differently to the same smells. Put on a pot of pea soup and half of those who walk into your kitchen are delighted while half are repulsed. Bake cinnamon rolls and everyone loves it except the sick who may find it nauseating.

Christians are the aroma of Christ, but not everybody likes the scent. To those who know forgiveness through Jesus, believers are the fragrance of life, but to lost people, they are the smell of death. Paul’s analogy is vivid. He alludes to the triumphal parade of celebration given to victorious Roman generals returning from battle. As part of the festivities, incense was burned. For the winners, it was an exciting scent of victory. But for the prisoners in the parade, the same aroma was a smell of execution.

Believers should not be surprised when the world does not like the aroma of God leading them in triumphal procession through earth to glory. To those who are perishing in unbelief, it is a reminder that there is a God who will judge justly at the end of life’s parade. But, unlike the prisoners walking to their death, when unbelievers smell the aroma of Christ, they are invited to life in glory and liberation from the chains of death.


Dear Father, may your fragrance which we bear liberate many hearts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.