By Reverend Marcus Blair, Grandview Baptist Church
This week we come to the end of a three-part series on the gifts of the wise men. Just to review a bit, we talked about gold, and how its splendor is a tribute fit for a newborn King. But we discussed how any earthly treasure we could ever bring Christ is a poor, substitute version for the glorious and shining estate he left to come be our savior. Then we discussed frankincense, and how it was the sweet smoke that would drift upward, signifying prayer and praise rising to Almighty God. And how the wise men didn’t need to burn the incense, they handed it straight to the one who was worthy of it, lying there in the manger.
The gold signifies that Jesus was King of Kings at his birth and is worth of all tribute and riches. The frankincense signifies that he was God Incarnate, and is worthy of all our prayer and praise. That he is to be worshipped, and we as believers need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, letting that fragrant smoke fill the temple as in times of old, except now, the Scripture says, the temple is us.
Now we turn our attention to myrrh, which to me, is the most striking of the three gifts. It has some things in common with frankincense – it’s another oil or gum derived from a tree that grows in the middle east, and it’s extremely fragrant. In Jesus’ time, it was extremely valuable and was literally the cologne of kings. Another sweet smell, that signifies the sweetness of Christ.
It is also useful in medicine. It has antiseptic properties and can be applied to cuts and wounds for their healing, and is also useful on toothaches. So you can see where its value comes from – it’s good medicine and is also very fragrant.
But as with the other two gifts, there is a double meaning to myrrh as it was presented to Christ. It had monetary and medicinal value, yes, but it may surprise you to learn of another major use for myrrh.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.