“When anyone brings a grain offering to the LORD, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it.” —Leviticus 2:1 (NIV)
Have you ever wondered why the grain offering would have incense added to it? Well I have. For some reason I toil over these obscure questions sometimes ruminating for years. The oil is understandable; but incense? Who wants incense or perfume on their bread?
Also, Jesus said he came to fulfill the law.¹ So how did He fulfill it in this instance?
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. —John 6:48 (NIV)
Jesus makes the claim that He is the bread of life. Therefore the grain offering is a type, or foreshadow, of Him.
The question then is; was Jesus, the bread of life, anointed with oil and incense?
“While he [Jesus] was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard.² She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.” —Mark 14:3 (NIV)
We could say that this anointing covers both, but I’m not sure since nard is an aromatic oil² the woman poured it on His head thus anointing Him it suffices as such.
Next we find another woman doing something very similar.
“A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.” —Luke 7:37-38 (NIV) 37-38
Here a sinful repentant woman wets His feet with her tears and wipes them clean with her hair. Then she finally anoints his feet with (incense) perfume.
During His lifetime our Lord, the bread of life, was anointed with oil on his head and perfume on His feet.
It seems to me that by these two actions done by these women allowed Jesus to fulfill the Law of the grain offering.
1 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” —Matthew 5:17 (NIV)
2. “Spikenard is the plant Nardostachys jatamansi (Natural Order, Valerianaceae); … It grows in the Himalayas. The extracted perfume is an oil, which was used by the Romans for anointing the head. Its great costliness is mentioned by Pliny.” —E.W.G. Masterman “Spikenard.” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 2019, https(:)//www(.)biblestudytools(.)com/encyclopedias/isbe/spikenard(.)html. Accessed 3 Apr 2019