A Fragrant Memorial

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 08/13/2023

Foundation Scriptures:
Matthew 26:6-13

1. A Memorial.
a. Matthew 26:6-13 AMPC — Now when Jesus came back to Bethany and was in the house of Simon the leper, 7 A woman came up to Him with an alabaster flask of very precious perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at table. 8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, For what purpose is all this waste? 9 For this perfume might have been sold for a large sum and the money given to the poor. 10 But Jesus, fully aware of this, said to them, Why do you bother the woman? She has done a noble (praiseworthy and beautiful) thing to Me. 11 For you always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me. 12 In pouring this perfume on My body she has done something to prepare Me for My burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this good news (the Gospel) is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will be told also, in memory of her.
b. This woman poured out her alabaster box of very precious perfume on Jesus’ head.
c. He proclaimed that what she had done would be recounted, throughout the ages, in memory (memorial) of her.
d. Memorial (Greek mnēmosynon) –– a record; a memorial (that by which the memory of any person or thing is preserved); a remembrance; a reminder (memorandum).

2. A Sweet Fragrance.
a Genesis 8:20-21 AMPC — And Noah built an altar to the Lord and took of every clean [four-footed] animal and of every clean fowl or bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 When the Lord smelled the pleasing odor [a scent of satisfaction to His heart], the Lord said to Himself, I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination (the strong desire) of man’s heart is evil and wicked from his youth; neither will I ever again smite and destroy every living thing, as I have done.
b. Noah’s offering came up as a sweet smell—a pleasing odor—before the Lord.
c. The Lord received and accepted this offering, and He vowed never again to curse the earth nor destroy every living thing as He had done with the flood.
d. Leviticus 2:1-2 AMPC –– When anyone offers a cereal offering to the Lord, it shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil over it and lay frankincense on it. 2 And he shall bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests. Out of it he shall take a handful of the fine flour and oil, with all its frankincense, and the priest shall burn this on the altar as the memorial portion of it, an offering made by fire, of a sweet and satisfying fragrance to the Lord.
e. The Lord instructed them to prepare and offer their offerings in a specific way—a type and shadow of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.
f. Memorial (Hebrew ‘azkārâ) –– memorial; that which calls to memory; memorial-offering; the portion of the meal (food) offering which is burned; a reminder; specifically, remembrance-offering.
g. This was the name of the cereal or meat offering which was burned with frankincense upon the altar.
h. It was the sweet savor which ascended to Heaven.
i. It was regarded as commending to God the remembrance of the worshipper.

3. A Heavenly Memorial.
a. An angel came to Cornelius and said to him, “Your prayers and your alms (generous gifts to the poor) have come up as a memorial, a sacrifice, to God and have been remembered by Him” (Acts 10:3-4).
b. Cornelius’ prayers and generous giving came up as a memorial to God—attracting His attention.
c. Therefore, He sent Peter to preach to him, and he and his household all received precious salvation and were filled with the Holy Spirit.
d. Honoring God, with a pure heart, in your prayers and giving, is a sweet-smelling savor that comes up before the Father, Himself.
e. Giving gets God’s attention.

4. Fragrant Odor.
a. Philippians 4:18-19 AMPC — But I have [your full payment] and more; I have everything I need and am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent me. [They are the] fragrant odor of an offering and sacrifice which God welcomes and in which He delights. 19 And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
b. Our generous, free-will offerings, sown into the Gospel—for souls and for the support of God’s ministers—are “the fragrant odor of an offering and sacrifice which God welcomes and in which He delights.”

5. The Sweet Fragrance of Christ.
a. Jesus Christ gave Himself as a sacrifice.
b. Ephesians 5:2 AMPC — And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.
c. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ, laying down His life for us, came up before God as a sweet fragrance, a sweet-smelling savor.
d. We are a sweet savor, a pleasant odor, to the Lord when we allow Him to use us—when we manifest His holiness and His power to the nations (Ezekiel 20:41).
e. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15a AMPC — But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere, 15 For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which exhales] unto God…
f. We can bring honor to God with our gifts and offerings, and we can honor Him with our lives.
g. When we give our lives for the sake of the Gospel, and to win souls, we are a sweet-smelling savor to God.
h. And we also become the sweet fragrance of Christ to those who believe and receive Him.