Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Aroma of Messiah

I have started a new book: Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg. The book's goal is to take us back to our Jewish roots -- and the Jewishness of our Messiah.

One story, whether perfectly accurate or not I can't know, captured my imagination in a powerful way. As the authors relate the story of Mary anointing Jesus' feet only days before His crucifixion, they give us some interesting perspective:

By anointing him with expensive fragrances, Mary may well have been making a statement about who she believed Jesus was, proclaiming him as Messiah. In fact, the Hebrew word for Messiah is Mashaich, which literally means "the Anointed One." Hebrew kings were anointed with sacred oil perfumed with extremely expensive spices
. . . The marvelous scent that it left behind acted like an invisible "crown," conferring an aura of holiness on its recipients.

They then note the similarities between Solomon's "anointing" and entry into Jerusalem (1 Kings 1: 38-40) and Jesus' anointing by Mary and subsequent entry into Jerusalem.

But here is the part that captured me: Everywhere Jesus went during the final days of his life he had the fragrance of royalty. Jesus smelled like a king. Imagine, in the garden of Gethsemane, as Judas and the guards approached Jesus to arrest him, the guards must have sniffed the air and wondered who stood before them. When Jesus was on trial, mocked, whipped, and stripped naked, even then the aroma may have clung to him.

The authors then note how this gives a whole new slant to Paul's words about us being "the aroma of Christ (the ANOINTED One) in 2 Corinthians 2: 14-16. As Jesus' followers, we spread the fragrance of our anointed Messiah everywhere we go.

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