Thursday, September 25, 2008

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.

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