The Michigan State Spartans won the 100th Rose Bowl, and emerged from the game smellin’ like a rose. They defeated a good Stanford team, but had to overcome a bad looking blemish to get the win.
The rose petals started to fall off the flower when quarterback Connor Cook threw a horrific pass to the wrong colored jersey late in the 2nd quarter that put his team down 17 – 7. The interception was dreadfully bad because it was clear to all watching that he shouldn’t have thrown the ball, but throw the ball he did, and it was an easy pick-six for Stanford. That ugly mistake stunk up the joint and could have cost the Spartans the game. Yet the final score was 24 -20, meaning the Spartans came back from 10 points down and held the Stanford Cardinal to just 3 points in the second half. In essence, it was a rosy win.
Roses look good, and smell better. All roses vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy. We are enraptured by the beauty and the fragrance of the rose. And that is how our lives as believers should be. We should look good and smell good too, and the world should be captivated by our beauty and aroma. Spiritually speaking, our lives are to be beautiful to the eyes and wonderful to the nose; a stunning sight and a sweet-smelling savor unto the Lord.
Roses are a pretty red; at least our favorite roses are. The rose-red blood of Jesus, the Rose of Sharon, was the purchase price for our salvation. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb. His rose-red blood ran all over that old rugged cross, and ran down that hill far away called Calvary. Jesus is the beauty of holiness and the perfume of Heaven. His red blood washed our dirty, filthy, stinky sins away.
Without the blood from the Rose of Sharon, we would stink up the house. In so many words, Jacob said that the heinous act of his two sons “stank to high heaven.” His exact words to Simeon and Levi were, “Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land” (Genesis 34:30). Simeon and Levi viciously avenged the rape of their sister Dinah by Shecem. While Shecem was wrong for taking Dinah unlawfully, the sons of Jacob were doubly wrong for taking matters into their own hands. And as all of our mothers have told us time and again, “two wrongs don’t make a right.”
Our lives are to be like the rose. We are to be “spices for anointing oil and for sweet incense” (Exodus 25:6). Jesus offered his life as an offering for our sin, and became a sweet smelling sacrifice unto the Lord. We are to “walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour” (Ephesians 5:2).
So live your life like the rose: be easy on the eyes and wonderful to the nose, not a stench or a stink, not blot nor a blemish. “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15 (New Living Translation).
With Christ, we can come through every trial and come out of every tribulation smellin’ like a rose. We can overcome every bad pass and every dropped ball; every fumble and every foible, every miss-step and every mistake, because of His efficacious blood. No matter what the test, whatever comes your way, in 2014, you can come through smellin’ like a rose.