Did you know that there are at least 100 portraits of Jesus in the Bible? Some of these portraits or titles are: The Alpha and Omega, The Bright and Morning Star, The Lily of the Valley, The Rose of Sharon, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, The Image of the Invisible God, The Only Begotten Son of God, The Son of David, The Son of Man, The Man of Sorrows, The Sun of Righteousness, The Bridegroom, The Lamb of God, The King of Kings, The Lord of Lords, The Door, The Good Shepherd, The Chief Cornerstone, The Saviour, The Advocate, The Mediator, The Bread of Life, The Water of Life, The Light of the World, The Resurrection and the Life, etc.
For this document, we're going to focus on the aromatic titles The Rose of Sharon and The Lily of the Valley. In the book Song of Solomon, Chapter 2 verse 1, we read: "I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." We know that Song of Solomon is a love story of King Solomon and a country girl of northern Palestine whom he married. This beautiful story illustrates the love relationship and tender union between Christ and His Church from the beginning of time and on through eternity.
Our Lord is depicted as the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the valleys. Henry Gariepy in his book, 100 Portraits of Christ wrote that Christ "is as an exquisite flower that thrive in the cool countryside or quiet fields" whose beauty is discovered "when we come apart from the hustle and bustle of life and enter into the solitary and sweet communion with Him."
He mentioned that "the Rose of Sharon was probably the common and abundant meadow-saffron, crocus or narcissus that adorned the countryside with its delicate beauty and perfumed the air with its sweet fragrance." The delicate beauty and fragrance of this flower are used in describing the character of our Lord whose character Christians are to emulate. How do we do this? By beholding Him through the pages of the Holy Scriptures, we become changed into His likeness and character. We possess the beauty and fragrance of His character, and we permeate the air around us with His delightful aroma manifested in loving deeds and works of mercy to others.
In his book, Henry Gariepy mentioned that there's a valley in Romania where roses are grown for the Vienna market in great profusion. You could imagine the fragrance there in the valley at the peak of the rose crop. They said that if you had visited that valley at the time of the rose harvesting, the fragrance of the roses stayed with you wherever you went for the rest of the day, and it would betray where you had been.
A wanderer found a lump of clay
So redolent of sweet perfume
Its odors scented all the room.
"What are thou?" was his quick demand,
"Art thou some gem from Samarcand,
Or spikenard in this rude disguise,
Or other costly merchandise?"
"Nay: I am but a lump of clay."
"Then whence this wondrous perfume--say!"
"Friend, if the secret I disclose,
I have been dwelling with the rose."
Sweet parable! and will not those
Who love to dwell with Sharon's rose,
Distill sweet odors all around,
Though low and mean themselves are found?
Dear Lord, abide with us that we
May draw our perfume fresh from Thee.
In Acts 4:13, we read that the people took knowledge of Peter and John that "they had been with Jesus." If we had been with Jesus and learned of Him, the fragrance of His character would permeate from us, and we would be a "refreshing and a sweetening influence" to the people around us. They would take notice that we had been with Jesus.
In the Bible Commentary, Volume 7, Page 909, we find these words: "Those who are sons of God will represent Christ in character. Their works will be perfumed by the infinite tenderness, compassion, love, and purity of the Son of God. And the more completely mind and body are yielded to the Holy Spirit, the greater will be the fragrance of our offering to Him."
"To love as Christ loved means to manifest unselfishness at all times and in all places, by kind words and pleasant looks. These cost those who give them nothing, but they leave behind a fragrance that surrounds the soul. Their effect can never be estimated. Not only are they a blessing to the receiver, but to the giver; for they react upon him. Genuine love is a precious attribute of heavenly origin, which increases in fragrance in proportion as it is dispensed to others. . . ." --Our High Calling, Page 231.
"Let the prayer go up to God, "Create in me a clean heart;" for a pure, cleansed soul has Christ abiding therein, and out of the abundance of the heart are the issues of life. The human will is to be yielded to Christ. Instead of passing on, closing the heart in selfishness, there is need of opening the heart to the sweet influences of the Spirit of God. Practical religion breathes its fragrance everywhere. It is a savor of life unto life..." --Bible Commentary, Volume 3, Page 1157.
"Those who would gain the blessing of sanctification must first learn the meaning of self-sacrifice. The cross of Christ is the central pillar on which hangs the "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." "If any man will come after Me," Christ says, "let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." 2 Corinthians 4:17; Matthew 16:24. It is the fragrance of our love for our fellow men that reveals our love for God. It is patience in service that brings rest to the soul..." --Acts of the Apostles, Page 560.
In the Garden of God's Love for me;
It has filled all the world with its fragrance,
It will last for eternity.
Rose of Sharon now blooming I see,
Blessed Jesus, who died on the tree;
With my whole heart I sing "Hallelujah!"
Rose of Sharon, so precious to me.
Precious Savior, I'll always adore Thee,
For with Thee no one else can compare;
By Thy Love so divine, I'm enraptured,
Thou are fairer than all of the fair.
Are you lost in your sins ~ tired of living?
Is your heart filled with bitterness, too?
Come to Jesus, the sweet Rose of Sharon,
He has the power to make you anew.
--Alfred B. Smith