Really, who doesn’t like incense? It’s aroma is sweet and pleasing to the nose while conjuring up images of far off lands where such a curiousity would have been originally concocted. This is largely due to it’s components; a feverish blend of pure spices that can be quite valuable. I was reading about such a mixture in the biblical book of Exodus:
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you.” – Exodus 30:34-36
In ancient times, starting in the days before they became a kingdom, Israel placed incense in front of the place where the Spirit of God would appear and fellowship with them. The alluring smell was calming, a symbol of God’s goodwill, His desire for them to approach, His grace.
Grace,”unmerited favor”. Mercy and salvation from God the Father due to absolutely nothing on our parts, it is alive today in the resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, from the dead. However, this grace is an entirely new aroma filling the air, extending beyond the tents of any single nation to the entire world. The awesomeness of God in the flesh; whose divine face was caressed, chest leaned on for comfort, feet washed in the tears of the sinful (Luke 7:36-38), was given as a most sacred gift to us all. The Son is cherished by God, a fragrant blend of love, humility and innocence spiced with holiness, unearthly power and courage in the face of darkness. Finally, salted with the light of life, Jesus breathes again, free from the hold of death. The heavenly angels sing the good news; “Let it be heard across the earth that the One who was pierced for the sins of man has now bridged the way to God with His own body! He lives again!” Sweeter than any incense, the grace of Jesus is eternal, its unsearchable value justified, beckoning your soul to fear not and come close…