Skip to main content

Death and the Smell of Jesus (5) - the refreshing and the responsibility

DOWNLOAD MP3: Dave Bish - Death and the Smell of Jesus

A smell that will not shift that says: we’re hell deserving rebels but Jesus came to comfort us, to keep the promises of God, to bring us to Himself! The church must reek of Jesus who was crucified for us. I don’t know what your favourite smell is. For me, nothing beats the smell of fresh bread, freshly cooked bacon and fresh coffee on a Saturday morning. For some of us, those ten big words about Jesus are bacon and coffee.

That is the mark of a Christian. For the Christian this news about Jesus is the sweetest of smells. This is life! You hear it and it makes you exclaim “I’m alive”. Christian, let this familiar news speak life to your heart – like the encouraging word of an old friend. Breathe in the fresh air of the news about Jesus - his free gift of himself for you, and to you.

How will you know if you’ve really grasped this? Whether you believe it? Because you’ll feel the same turmoil Paul experiences in v12-13… torn between care for those being saved and those who are perishing. Because you’ll feel the weight of how this news about Jesus brings unimaginable life to one, and death to another. And you’ll cry out v16: “who is sufficient for this?”

If we’ve grasped the magnitude of the big words about Jesus – caught a sniff of Jesus… we’ll feel the huge responsibility of being entrusted with this. The big question since 72 year old John McCain selected the inexperienced Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential candidate: If McCain dies in office, can she handle being the leader of the free world?

Similarly, it’s heavy stuff to know that you give off a smell that gives life to some, but death to others. You’re infected with a virus that brings death – enough to make you want to hide. And yet, it’s also the only cure for the world.

Can you handle it? No. You really can’t. And you don’t need to go all Disney – don’t search for the hero inside yourself. Fact: you can’t handle it. But, Jesus can! He shoulders the load. We carry the aroma that divides all people. Not because we press the button or make the call, but because God decides through the message of Jesus that we believe.

This is serious. Serious because Jesus is so glorious, and serious because to some people this is not coffee and bacon but rather the odour of putrification, the stench of sewage and rotting fish.


Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…