Text: “All Thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made Thee glad."
Good morning, sweet, clean-smelling
Christian! You and I smell sweet in
God’s nostrils for one reason only, we bear the marks of the Living Lord Jesus
Christ within our hearts; a smell of His perfect Holiness, put to our account
by grace through faith, is the only thing that smells good to a Lord God of
wrath against sin. Praise God for
Christ’s Holy scent upon us!
“As obedient children, not fashioning
yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which
hath called you is Holy, so be ye Holy in all manner of conversation (entire
lifestyle); because it is written, Be ye Holy; for I am Holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)
Holiness is the outer expression of inner
righteousness: If we have Christ’s own perfect righteousness
imputed, put to our account, by faith in His one-time Sacrifice for all our
sins – then we must seek at all times to TRY to manifest His Holiness in our
daily lives continually. Others cannot
see our inner righteousness, but they can certainly see our outer Holiness if
being faithfully practiced before their very eyes.
Even our imperfect attempt at living Holy
lives, is clearly seen and understood by the world of the unsaved, as a sign of
what the Living Lord God has done in the Christian’s heart. As one once said to me, ‘You cannot be saved
and not know it. And you cannot be saved
and not show it.’ You can therefore ‘show’
a world of unsaved souls that you and I have Christ’s inner righteousness, by
the Holiness we seek to practice outwardly before them.
“Even so every good tree bringeth forth
good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,
neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is
hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:18-20)
looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b)
The Alabaster Box: Think for a moment
about the characteristics which went to make up a vessel such as the alabaster
box featured in the Matthew 26:6-13 Bible passage; for, time spent in such Scriptural
meditations proves profitable to every Christian’s faith. (Psalm 119:105)
Alabaster is a substance which is made up
of gypsum, calcium sulphate, from which plaster of Paris is created, often to
cast a splint around broken bones.
It is mixed with water, moulded to a
particular shape and, when dried hard, it can appear as a starling white,
translucent, vessel of fragile vulnerability.
Alabaster, therefore, is a perfect TYPE of the Christian’s character and
has so very much in common with our frail human nature.
We of the Christian faith are also made up
of vulnerable constituents: we are Eternally secure, yet so easily broken; we
appear startling white in outer behaviour and morals; yet our hearts are so
often filled with carnal corruptions; we desire to be ever flowing with
Christlikeness, yet so often are found dry and seemingly ready to crack. Food for thought, what?
“But we have this treasure (Christ Jesus)
in earthen vessels (alabaster boxes?), that the excellency of the power may be
of God, and not of us.” (2 Corinthians
The alabaster box featured in the
suggested Scripture-reading was filled with precious ointment called spikenard,
or pure nard, which was left in its liquid form. The spikenard is the plant, a fragrant Indian
herb; the nard is the perfumed ointment prepared from this plant. Precious perfume indeed.
“I am the Vine, ye are the branches; he
that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for
without Me (Christ Jesus) ye can do nothing.”
The Christian is maligned by the world due
to his/her still possessing all the traits of a fallen human nature. Yet, by God’s grace, we are filled with the
Spirit of God and thus we can also manifest all the precious and Holy fruits of
God the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah! Glory to the Lamb! (Galatians
Mark’s account of the alabaster box
reveals the fact that the box had first to be broken before the precious
ointment inside could be used to serve the Master. (Mark 14:3)
Christian’s too must often be ‘broken’,
abused, and maligned by the unsaved world, before the fruits of the Spirit pour
forth and are manifested to the greater glory of the Lord Jesus. (Hebrews 11:6; 31-40) (Psalm 30:5b)
The world sees through much of our
translucent weaknesses and finds fault to malign. Praise God, He looks right through all our
outer weaknesses to the true motives of our Christian hearts and blesses us
according to our motivation, rather than the limitations of what we actually
achieve! The motives God has given us
are rewarded when we try our best to act upon them for Christ’s glory. Now, that is good news for ‘alabaster box’
Christians such as we.
If Christ’s righteousness is genuinely
within the regenerate Christian – God’s true Holiness will shine out and be
witnessed by a world that lives in perpetual darkness and sin.
“Let your light so shine before men, that
they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
“All Thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia out of the ivory
palaces... Christ was an
Alabaster Box filled with Righteousness and Holiness. When Sacrificed on Golgotha’s Cross for the
redemption of sinners, His pure Righteousness was poured out upon a world that
was, and still is, sick with gross sin.
When we, by faith, partake of Christ’s Salvation grace, we too begin to
conform to His image, and reveal His Holiness unto other lost souls. We smell sweet in order to draw sinners to
Christ’s Cross, that they too might find faith to believe and receive the
Eternal Salvation Christ alone can give.
When shattered by life’s cruel blows, let Christ’s love and hope pour
forth abundantly. Who knows if some poor
lost soul might, by God’s grace, find life anew.