2 Cor.2:15,16 – We have become the unmistakable aroma of the victory of the Anointed One to God —a perfume of life to those being saved and the odor of death to those who are perishing. The unbelievers smell a deadly stench that leads to death, but believers smell the life-giving aroma that leads to abundant life. And who of us can rise to this challenge?
Paul is a master with painting pictures with his words. In this passage Paul is describing a victor’s parade after a Roman general conquered an area. Of course the general in this picture is a picture of Christ in His victorious triumph in this world. We are His prisoners of love and we carry His fragrance upon our lives. Christ is leading us on a victory parade all through this life, everywhere we go we have the smell of Christ on us. To some it is the smell of life, to others the fragrance of death. Here is how William Barclay describes this passage.
“We have seen how, in that procession, there were the priests swinging the incense-filled censers. To the victors, the perfume from the censers would be the perfume of joy and triumph and life; but, to the wretched captives who walked just a short distance ahead, it was the perfume of death, standing for the past defeat and their coming execution. So, Paul thinks of himself and his fellow apostles preaching the gospel of the triumphant Christ. To those who will accept it, it is the perfume of life, as it was to the victors; to those who refuse it, it is the perfume of death, as it was to the vanquished.”
Things are so backward in our world today. Anything that has to do with the Lord and His kingdom is like a bad smell to the culture of this world. Christians have the fragrance of Christ displayed in sexual purity, sobriety, and a Christ centered world view. The world is rapidly trying to rid our culture of its Biblical foundation that is the very structure that our nation had been built on for the last two hundred and fifty years. Things that are clearly forbidden in the scripture are being celebrated as freedom and human rights today. To stand for Biblical morality makes you a ‘hater’ in the eyes of the new world view and causes you to be a stench in their nostrils. To others, your life and your love for Christ produces a different aroma; it is the aroma of Christ that leads to life.