I was reading Psalm 135, noticing that at verse 13 there’s a footnote in my study Bible. The verse goes like this: ‘Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.’ The footnote was next to the word ‘renown’, and said that another translation would be ‘remembrance’.
The Hebrew word is ‘zeker’, which means recollection, memory, and scent. All those synonyms made sense to me, but scent. A pleasing aroma? What does that have to do with remembering the Lord?
Any ideas? I’ve been thinking about that for awhile. The human sense of smell is very powerful. Some say that when dying, the sense of smell is the last to fade and end. It’s easy to associate a certain cologne or perfume with someone we’ve known, maybe from many years ago. Whenever I smell ‘Old Spice’ aftershave, I always think of my father. He’s been gone for decades now, but I can still sense him when I get a whiff of that aftershave. That scent triggers memory of my father.
I wonder if when Jesus was on the cross, if He could still smell the scent of the perfume that the woman at Simon the leper’s house in Bethany had poured all over His head? Was very expensive nard, pungent and long-lasting(read Matthew 26 and Mark 14). When all had denied Him, when He could only hear cries of agony, cursing and blasphemies, when all had been taken away from Him, when He even felt abandoned by God His Father, could it be that the lingering scent of that perfume was a comfort and a reminder to Jesus that people did love Him, that people would sacrifice much for Him, that His Father was but a moment away? From that precious scent of perfume poured upon His head, running down His shoulders covering Him with reminders of love and tears? Could it have been?
God has given us so many remembrances of Himself–His name(Exodus 3:15), His works(Psalm 111::4), His goodness(Psalm 145:7), His holiness(Psalm 30:4,97:12), and His salvation(Esther 8:28). Much has been given to help us remember our Lord. Why so much? I wonder.
Could be because we forget so easily. Life gets crowded out with work and worries, family and the unknown future. We allow Him to be crowded out. So, we’re asked to remember Him. To share in the Lord’s Supper: ‘…in remembrance of me'(1 Corinthians 11:24). Think of all that God has given us in the Bible to remember Him…and then, do it. Remember the Lord of All who loves us with an everlasting love! Worth remembering? Oh my… YES!
Prayer: Our Lord, we have so much you have given us to remember you by. In your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.