Why Were Gold, Incense, and Myrrh Appropriate Gifts for Jesus?
Then, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea during the reign of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and inquired as to the whereabouts of the child who had been born king of the Jews. As a result, we have come to revere him since we witnessed his star as it rose.’ In the midst of their adoration, they discovered the infant with Mary his mother, and they dropped on their knees and worshipped him. Then, when they opened their riches, they presented him with presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:1–2; Matthew 2:1–11) We know very little about the wise men based on the biblical narrative.
“We Three Kings of Orient Are,” as the song goes, is sung.
That they were kings, or even when they landed in Bethlehem, is not revealed in the Bible.
That very little information is provided on the wise men certainly indicates that Matthew’s attention was not drawn to the wise men themselves as a subject of study.
A literary critic would pay particular attention to the presents since they appear at the conclusion of the story after the kid has been discovered and so occupy a prominent position in the narrative.
It is simple to see why gold is a suitable present for the Lord Jesus Christ. Gold is considered to be the metal of kings. When Jesus was given with gold, it was an acknowledgement of his authority to govern. The wise men were aware that Jesus was the King of kings and that he was the Messiah. When Jesus was given with gold, it was an acknowledgement of his authority to govern.
Incense was also given as a thoughtful gift. It was employed in the temple’s religious ceremonies. It was used in conjunction with the oil that was used to anoint the priests of the nation of Israel. It was included in the meal offerings, which were intended to be expressions of gratitude and worship to God. They did so in order to draw attention to Christ as our great High Priest, the one whose entire life had been acceptable and well pleased to his Father.
Myrrh was traditionally used in embalming. By any human standard, it would be strange, if not disrespectful, to give an embalming spice to a child who is supposed to be the Savior. However, it was neither offensive nor out of the ordinary in this instance.
It was a gift of faith on my part. We do not know what the wise men may have known or suspected about Christ’s career, but we do know that the Old Testament prophesied of his suffering on several occasions, and we believe that they did.
What Gifts Do You Offer?
There is a sense in which we, too, may offer our gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh on the basis of our faith. Make a start with your myrrh. Aside from representing Christ’s death, myrrh represents the spiritual death that should befall you as a result of your transgression against the law. “Lord Jesus Christ, I recognize that I am less perfect than you are and that I am a sinner,” you should say as you lay it at Christ’s feet. As a result of my transgression, I am aware that I will be permanently banished from your presence, and I accept this responsibility.
- That is what I believe.
- According to the Bible, there is no good in man that is not tainted by evil.
- Finally, bring your gold with you.
- As a result, by bringing your gold, you are acknowledging Christ’s authority over your life.
Provide direction and guidance in my life so that I may mature spiritually and be able to appreciate and serve you as you deserve.” If you have gone to the altar believing in everything that the myrrh, incense, and gold represent, you have begun a journey that will bring you enormous spiritual delight and happiness.
They are the only things we have to offer to the one who has given us everything through his love and mercy.
From 1982 until 2000, JAMES MONTGOMERY BOICE served as senior minister of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church and as an outspoken advocate for the Reformed religion.
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What Is the Significance of the Three Wise Men and Their Gifts?
A church service might easily be dismissed as merely another location to “get” something in our consumerist society in the United States of America. Moreover, this frame of mind is not surprising, considering that church facilities and worship services are well-known for providing refreshments, free childcare, beautiful music, positive messages, and much more in a climate-controlled, safe, and aesthetically attractive setting. There is nothing wrong with delicious coffee, children’s ministries, music, and everything else; yet, if we are not cautious, we can end up thinking of ourselves as consumers in our spiritual lives, rather than going to God with our offerings of worship and “sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15).
- Following the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, many Magi journeyed to visit him, each of whom followed a different star or light in the sky.
- They were a special class of priests who had been around for a very long time (Daniel 5).
- During Daniel’s time in charge of these Magi, it is extremely plausible that he instructed them about the prophesies concerning the future Messiah (such as inNumbers 24:17andMicah 5:2).
- Their education and authority allowed them to function as political consultants and even “king-makers” — which is an odd link to draw given that the Book of Matthew (in which Jesus is presented as the true king in the line of Judah) is the only gospel narrative that cites this incident.
- “They rejoic[ed] greatly with great pleasure” when they eventually arrived at the house where the Christ Child was residing, and they “went down on their faces before Jesus and Mary and worshipped him” (an appropriate reaction to being in the presence of the King of Kings).
These were not just any old presents that they happened to have sitting around; each one was meaningful at the time it was given and continues to hold great significance for us now.
What Was the Significance of Each of the Magi’s Gifts?
1. Goldis a precious metal that has been used for jewelry, ornaments, currency, and idols throughout human history because of its color and shine. 2. Frankincenseis an expensive fragrance or perfume made from trees in India and Arabia. 3. Myrrhis a specific kind of costly perfume made from rare thorn bushes in Arabia and Ethiopia that is used as an antiseptic anointing oil and embalming fluid. While these gifts would have been rare and very costly for the Magi to give to Jesus’ family, they were not unheard of in first-century Palestine.
- Asone writerput it, “Embalming liquid never appears to top the lists of baby shower gifts in society today.” But asthis authorsuggests, these gifts were diplomatic representations of each of the Magi ’ s cultures.
- This was not a gesture of altruism, it was adulation.
- John Pipereloquently expressed it like this:The gifts are intensifiers of desire for Christ himself in much the same way that fasting is.
- I have not come to you for your things, but for yourself.
- By giving to you what you do not need, and what I might enjoy, I am saying more earnestly and more authentically, ‘You are my treasure, not these things.’” Almost ironically, though, God is clear through his word that he does not need anything that we have to offer.
- And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him.
What Is the Deeper Spiritual Meaning Behind These Gifts?
The ancient church believed that the three sorts of gifts clearly symbolized three fundamental characteristics of Christ’s personality, and therefore they were divided into three categories. In this case, the gold represents Jesus’ monarchy, the frankincense represents his divinity, and the myrrh represents his humanity. As a matter of fact, some have argued that the Magi “preached” the gospel in a concrete sense through the gifts they bestowed upon the infant Jesus. Whether they realized it or not, their presents represented the tale of God himself, who descended from Heaven in the form of our King (gold) to perform his priestly responsibilities (frankincense) and finally die for our sins (frankincense) (myrrh).
At the beginning of Jesus’ life, as well as at the conclusion of his life, when he was hanging on the cross (Mark 15:23) and subsequently being buried in the tomb, this element was given to him here (John 19:39).
And, as a result of his resurrection, we have the opportunity to have eternal life.
First and foremost, we must understand that the central message of the Magi tale, gift-giving, and the remainder of the Christmas (or Advent) holiday is that Jesus Christ came to earth to die in order to provide salvation for sinners — meaning people like you and me — who have fallen away from God (1 Timothy 1:15;Luke 19:10).
- Second, just as the Three Wise Men replied to the heavenly light above them by going to Jesus and worshipping him, the Christmas season calls on all of us to respond to Jesus in one way or another during this season of giving.
- This is due to the fact that Christmas provides us with the gospel, and the gospel demands that we respond to it.
- We must, however, make a decision about what we will worship.
- When we bow our hearts to him and put our precious “gifts” in front of him, we are expressing that he alone can fulfill our hearts, and this is because Jesus is the one true King.
- Whoever goes in search of him will find him every time.” iStock/Getty Images Plus/Gama5 are credited with this image.
- The couple has been married since 2008 and have three children, Brooklyn, Bryson, and Abram.
- After completing his undergraduate studies at North Greenville University in South Carolina, Robert went on to complete his Masters at Liberty University in Virginia.
- He has worked in a number of roles including worship pastor, youth pastor, family pastor, church planter, and presently Pastor of Worship and Discipleship at Cheraw First Baptist Church.
To serve God and His Church, he has set himself a life purpose of reaching the unreached with the gospel, discipling and inspiring others to go even farther in their spiritual journeys, and establishing a culture of multiplication for the glory of God. More information on him may be found here.
Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh – The Truth About Their Significance
Everywhere you look this month, you’ll see children acting out the nativity scene, and at the conclusion of the star-guided journey, you’ll see the Three Wise Men, dressed in dazzling dress-up robes and bearing a gift for each child. The Magi are a part of our Christmas customs, but there is a lot to learn about their role in the birth, particularly regarding the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh they brought with them. What is the importance of the gold, frankincense, and myrrh in the New Testament?
Biblical Account of the Magi
Biblical academics and theologians have proposed a variety of interpretations on the significance of the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that the magi brought to Jesus, according to the Gospel of Matthew, since the early days of Christianity” (2:11). In the ancient world, rich commodities such as gold as a precious metal, frankincense as perfume or incense, and myrrh as anointing oil were traditional presents to be given to a monarch or a god as a mark of respect. In fact, these identical three things were reportedly among the presents, mentioned in ancient inscriptions, that King Seleucus II Callinicus presented to the deity Apollo at the temple at Miletus in 243 B.C.E.
- (See Isaiah 60:6 for further information).
- Since then, academics have pondered and argued the issues surrounding them.
- What was the meaning of the presents given to the children?
- The fact of the matter is that we will never know (for certain) the truth about gold, frankincense, and myrrh, nor why the Magi traveled half-way around the world to bless the Christ Child with their gifts of these precious substances.
- The Magi (which can be rendered as “magician” but is most commonly translated as “wise man”) come in Matthew 2 after traveling from “the east” in quest of the Baby King.
- When they arrived in Jerusalem, they immediately rushed to Herod to inquire as to the whereabouts of the Baby.
- We don’t know when the visit took place, but we do know that they had been following the star for an extended period of time — maybe as long as two years.
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Three Gifts from the East – Gold, FrankincenseMyrrh
The Magi, in contrast to the imagery we have in mind of three men each bearing a gift, are not numbered. The tale has been embellished by church history and custom to include the names of the men who actually brought the presents – Melchior giving gold, Caspar bringing frankincense, and Balthasar delivering myrrh. (2) Despite this, portrayals of the Magi have changed significantly since their initial iterations, and no one can agree on the exact number of visitors in total. Their gifts to the young Jesus were described as “opening their riches” in Matthew’s narrative.
We aren’t talking about a handful of birthday presents here — regardless of the exact names and quantities, these were definitely affluent men traveling in a caravan with a lot of reputation and a lot to give the world.
The Magi were on their way to congratulate the newly crowned king, thus gold makes sense as a recognition of royalty. Gold was a precious metal that was also attractive and long-lasting. Gold, according to most scholars, symbolized Jesus’ status as a king who would reign forever on an endless throne of glory. That relic belonged in the possession of royalty, even if that royalty resided in the house of a young, impoverished family. Some feel that the gold was something altogether else, which is a fascinating notion that is a little on the edge.
Unless it was a gold-en spice like turmeric, as some people believe it was, gold appears out of place — one of these things is not like the other – This line of reasoning may even be traced back to the production of balsam oil, which is obtained from the resin of balsam trees that grow in the same climate and location as the origins of frankincense and myrrh.
It has a component “renowned for its anti-inflammatory, local anesthetic, and antifungal activities,” and it was formerly called the Balm of Gilead.
There’s no big surprise here, and there’s no outlandish notion that implies something surprising. Only an antique incense that is still useful now may be described as such. Traditionally, the gift of frankincense was seen as an affirmation of Jesus’ priesthood, distinguishing him from a conventional king and establishing him as a unique figure. Frankincense was employed in the temple’s rituals, and priests would burn it in a ceremonial fire. Because it was not indigenous to that region, acquiring frankincense from the east was a time-consuming and expensive endeavor.
Because we now have the ability to evaluate the qualities and modes of action that substances such as frankincense resin and its essential oil maintain, we can discover benefits that go beyond aroma and ceremonial purposes.
Traditional medicine recommends frankincense because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties. Our understanding has expanded to include immune regulating properties, which might explain why it is used for both inflammatory sickness and antibacterial reasons. (4)
Myrrh, the most bittersweet of the presents, had been introduced to Egypt in large quantities for funeral ceremonies, and the practice had spread across the region. Myrrh was associated with death and burial even if it was not used in the mummification process. A depressing present for a new mother to grasp, but one that is lovely when viewed through the lens of her comprehension of his mission. But was it all that themyrrhwas meant to do? While myrrh was traditionally used for ceremonial purposes in the Middle East, it was also utilized for therapeutic purposes in the Far East.
- Myrrh was utilized in ancient China for similar purposes, including wound healing and hemorrhage control.
- In the same way that prophetic statements frequently had both immediate and long-term implications, it is possible that these talents followed a similar dual pattern.
- Whatever the case, it’s entertaining to be entertained — the subtleties of Scripture never fail to astound me!
- (6) While both the temple and Jesus’ improvised cradle were packed with fragrant compounds, they were also working to battle sickness and protect the people who lived in the vicinity.
- The three Magi, according to certain early church history documents, reunited years later to celebrate Christmas with one another, soon before they died.
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What is the Significance of the Wise Men’s Gifts? And, Were These Men Kings (or Magi)?
Don’t forget to check out the video at the end of the article! “WHO WERE THE WISDOM MEN?” has already been discussed. Then we responded with, “HOWDID THEY KNOW?” “Did the Three Wise Men Make Their Appearance?” At the end of the discussion, we’ll talk about “WHAT ISN’T THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WISE MEN’S GIFT?” and “Was It Really These Men Who Were Kings?” The presents that the Three Wise Men delivered to Jesus are recounted in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:1).
The Wise Men are likely to have had more than three presents, despite the fact that only three were named. We are also not told whether or not they were kings, even if they were noblemen.
We Three Kings?
A well-known Christmas carol about three kings and the presents they brought to Christ’s birth is performed every year in our church. Due to the fact that the Bible does not mention them as kings, the hymn is not literally valid. This belief is most likely based on the monetary worth of the presents that they gave to Jesus, as well as a misunderstanding of the meaning of the words in Isaiah 60 that talk of the Millennium Kingdom. These persons are referred to as “wise men” in the Bible (Matthew 2:1).
They inquired about the whereabouts of the King of the Jews, who had been born there.
Matthew 2:11 (KJV) And when they entered the home, they saw the small boy with Mary his mother, and they dropped on their knees and worshipped him; and when they had opened their treasures, they brought presents to him, including gold, frankincense, and myrrh, as well as other gifts as well.
They donated their time, talents, wealth, and testimony, among other things:
- They had traveled a long distance to see this Child—a gift of time
- They had followed His star—a gift of talent (read:How did the wise men know to follow His star? )
- And they had given their lives for this Child. It was their desire to worship Him that drove them to bring Him gifts—a present of wealth. When they arrived before Jesus, they “dropped down and worshipped Him.” They acknowledged both His Lordship and His Kingship in the process, which was a gift of evidence. In this article, you will learn what it means to live your life as a testament for Jesus. 3 Easy Steps! )
Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
The treasures that the three wise men brought were both valuable and significant in terms of prophetic significance. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh are all presents fit for a king, according to the Bible. As a sign of Christ’s divinity as King, frankincense represents His purity as a Priest of God, and myrh depicts His anointed labor as a Prophet and the event of His death, gold is used to indicate His deity as King. Look at what the Bible says about these gifts and what we sing about in the Christmas hymn “We Three Kings” to have a better understanding.
Gold = Kingship of God
Gold is a sacred metal in the Bible, representing the most precious of metals and being extremely rare in its purest form.It has been used to honor kings since ancient times, and the furniture of the Tabernacle contains gold, symbolically pointing to Christ and His deity.The Ark of the Covenant was constructed of acacia wood (a symbol of Jesus’ humanity) and gold (a symbol of His deity).The Ark of the Covenant was constructed of acacia wood (a symbol of Jesus
Jesus proclaimed Himself as King:
Matthew 27:11 (KJV) Jesus was now standing in front of the governor. As a result, the governor approached Him and inquired, “Are You the King of the Jews?” As a result, Jesus told him, “It is as you claim.”
Some of the people proclaimed Jesus King:
John 12:12-13 (NIV) When the people who had gathered for the feast learned that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem the following day, they were enraged. Taken palm branches in their hands, they walked out to meet him and shouted out, “Hosanna!” meaning “Blessed is the King of Israel who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Pilate proclaimed Jesus King:
18:39 (John 18:39) But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover: would you agree that I should release the King of the Jews to you? Then he says to the Jews, “Behold your King!” (John 19:14). 19:19 (John 19:19) Pilate then inscribed a title on the cross and nailed it to it. The inscription on the wall read, JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE. During His earthly career, Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God 60 times in different contexts. That Kingdom is present on this planet and may be found in the hearts of people who are followers of Jesus.
Jesus is our King, and He governs and reigns in our hearts when we submit to His authority. Verse 2: “We Three Kings” (We Three Kings) King on Bethlehem’s plain gold, I bring Him back to reign over us all as King forever and never ceasing to be a King.
Frankincense = High Priest of God
Frankincense is a fragrant, transparent resin derived from plants in northern India and Arabia that has a strong perfume (Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20). It is used in incense and fragrances, and it was highly prized for its scent and medicinal abilities in ancient times. A component of the meat offering (Leviticus 2:16, 16; 6:15; 24:7) and a sweet savor, Frankincense was used in the Lord’s sanctuary (Exodus 30:34). It was also employed as a sweet savor in the temple of Solomon (incense). Frankincense is often used as a religious symbol (Psalm 141:2; Luke 1:10; Revelation 5:8; 8:3).
It also serves as a representation of the priest’s role in bringing the prayers of the people before the Lord (Luke 1:10, Revelation 8:3-5).
Mark 10:45 a.m.
3rd verse – We, the Three Kings I have Frankincense to present; Incense is the property of a Deity close by; prayer and praise, voices raised, Worshipping God from on high.
Myrrh = Prophet of God
Myrrh was a spice that was utilized in medicine, cosmetics, and anointing oil in ancient times. It was added to the oil that was used to anoint prophets before they began their divinely assigned task of exposing God and expressing His will and messages to His people on behalf of the people of God. As a Prophet, Jesus came to the country of Israel (Matthew 15:24), and He did so in fulfillment of a prophesy of Moses that read: Deuteronomy 18:15 is a biblical verse. The LORD thy God will raise up for thee a Prophet from among thee, one of thy brethren, who will be similar unto me; and unto Him you shall pay attention.
He claimed to be a Prophet in His own right, stating, “I am the Prophet.” Luke 13:33 (NIV) Nevertheless, I must walk today, tomorrow, and the day after that, for it is not possible for a prophet to expire outside of Jerusalem’s city walls.
“But a prophet is not without honor, save in his own nation and in his own family,” Jesus responded to their question.
- As a Prophet, Jesus carried out the Father’s instructions: 4:34 (John 4:34) ‘My flesh and blood are to execute the will of him who sent me and to complete his job,’ Jesus said to them. As a Prophet, Jesus carried out the will of the Father, which was as follows: 11:27 (Matthew 11:27) Every single item has been handed to me by my Father. As a Prophet, Jesus spoke the words of the Father, which were as follows: 8:28 (John 8:28) Then Jesus addressed them, saying. I do nothing on my own initiative
- Rather, following the example set by my Father, I utter these words.
12:49 (John 12:49) In fact, I haven’t spoken anything about myself; rather, the Father who sent me gave me specific instructions on what I should say and how I should say it. Another picture of the gift of myrrh is provided by the book of Revelation. Additionally, oil was utilized in the anointing of the dead, in addition to anointing prophets. In the presence of Jesus at His birth, myrrh was handed to him, alluding to His future life as a Prophet, and it was used at His death to prepare His body for burial.
So, after that day had passed, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome had gone out and purchased pleasant spices so that they may come and anoint him with them.
John 19:40 (NIV) Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices, as was the Jewish custom for burying a body.
In verse 4, the Three Kings say, “We Three Kings.” Myrrh is mine, and its harsh fragrance is mine. Breathes a life of accumulating darkness; sobbing, moaning, bleeding, dying, and so forth I was sealed up in the ice cold grave.
King, Priest and Prophet
As King of Israel (Messiah), Priest of God (to atone for human sins), and Prophet of God (saying God’s words), Jesus came into the world to fulfill his mission. The gifts of the three wise men symbolized each of those duties in prophetic typology, and they pointed to everything that Jesus would do in His incarnation and exaltation as the Son of God. In the same way that the Wise Men gave of their time, skill, and riches, so should we give of ours as well. Let’s not forget one more “t” before we wrap things up: testimony!
- Our testimony of His love and faithfulness, together with everything He has done and given to us.makes us smart men as well!
- O star of wonder, star of night,Star of royal beauty shining bright,Westward leading, still proceeding,Guide us to thy flawless Light, O star of wonder, star of night, *}}} Please keep in mind that each of these three talents has a future prophetic type associated with it.
- Only the prophetic character of these gifts, which were given to Jesus at His birth and which were realized in His incarnation, was discussed in this article.
- We’ve seen the near fulfillment, and we’re keeping our eyes peeled for our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13) and the distant fulfillment of His rule and reign on the earth, which we believe is still a long way off (Revelation 11:15).
What the Magi’s 3 Gifts to Jesus Really Symbolize
Some time back, in the early ’90s, I came across a Bible instructor who operated on the principle, “If anything is written down in the Bible it must have meaning, and it must have meaning that is significant.” Although that point of view seems fairly axiomatic, the fact that it is realized never ceases to amaze me. Honestly, if I’m being really honest, there are many passages of the Bible that I tend to read with half of my brain sleeping. The Bible contains a plethora of verses that I completely overlook until someone who is far more knowledgeable than I am draws my attention to them.
Okay, I think to myself, “Wow, that’s a lot of stuff,” without stopping to consider why it’s so huge or why those exact ratios of dimensions are being employed.
That’s the type of knowledge that always takes me by surprise and leaves me speechless with a sense of awe.
This gets us to the subject of this essay, which is the presents given by the magi, sometimes known as wise men.
Although they aren’t specifically addressed in the inspired word, we may assume that they must be significant. Let’s have a look at what they signify.
Gold for a King
The gold is self-evident. For thousands of years, it has served as a storehouse of value. It is extremely tough to come by and much more difficult to accumulate. It’s simple to mould into forms or to make very thin sheets out of it. Furthermore, it does not rust or corrode. All of this points to it being a valuable store of value, and its usage is documented throughout the Old Testament books of the Bible, particularly in the descriptions of the construction of the temple and the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25).
- If you’re looking for something truly eye-opening, here’s some study on how much riches Solomon accumulated in gold each year: A whopping $1.2 billion bucks!
- And keep in mind that this is actual, concrete riches.
- As a result, when the magi came with gifts of gold to worship Jesus, they were effectively proclaiming him king.
- Unfortunately, there are no hints to be found in the written record.
- It’s possible that Jesus handed it to the impoverished.
- Photograph courtesy of Pexels/Pixabay
Frankincense for a High Priest
On the Day of Atonement, the high priest of Israel offered incense in the Temple of Jerusalem. It is one interpretation of this deed in particular that I find appealing. To fill the Holy of Holies with smoke and conceal God, who lived on the mercy seat between the cherubim, in order for the high priest to be present in the presence of God without dying, the smoke of incense was used. It was necessary to die in order to see God. According to tradition, the incense was supposed to keep the high priest from dying.
Using a prohibited source of flame or burning anything other than wood was considered “strange fire,” and it was punished by death (Leviticus 10:1).
It is impossible to emphasize the significance of this second gift.
As a result, the two authorities were to be maintained as independent entities.
In the New Testament book of Hebrews, the author asserts that Jesus is a descendant of Melchizedek, who served as both priest and king to his people. This is detailed in further detail in the book of Hebrews. Photograph courtesy of Unsplash/Max Michatz.
Myrrh for a Sacrifice
Myrrh, the final gift from the magi, is the most somber, yet it is also the most predictive. Myrrh, used as an embalming oil, represented the Christ’s mortality as a human being. Consider the possibility of delivering a gift to the Messiah that proclaims his suffering and death. Myrrh, on the other hand, could not be more diametrically opposed to the preceding two offerings. How could they have endured it? Two fascinating links to myrrh may be discovered in the New Testament, both of which are worth exploring.
- Her given name turns out to be predictive as well.
- In the book of Revelation, the term myrrh is used a second time in a different context.
- Smyrna is the name of the city, which derives from the Greek word for myrrh.
- Him to be our king, the one who would rule over his people, and indeed over all of creation, for all of time and eternity, was announced by the gold.
- The last revelation is that our King and Priest, God forever, was in some way a human man who would also function as our prophet, a man who would die in the place of his people, as shown by myrrh.
- The study of the gifts of the magi is a research that will never be completed.
- It was a research project that I performed before to writing The End of the Magi.
- Come, have a look at Him!
- Awarded author Patrick W.
- He lives in New York City with his wife and son.
In his spare time, he pretends to be a less-than-gentle math instructor in Tennessee, which he finds amusing. The people that live in his home include his wonderful wife, Mary, and a small dog named Mr. Fruffles who has a lot of attitude. Photograph courtesy of Jonathan Meyer via Unsplash.
Why Did the Wise Men Give Jesus Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh?
Myrrh, the magi’s final present, is the most somber, yet it is also the most predictive of the three gifts. Myrrh, which was used to embalm bodies, represented the Christ’s mortality as a human being. Consider the possibility of delivering a gift to the Messiah that proclaims his suffering and death. As opposed to the previous two gifts, myrrh is diametrically opposed to them. Who knew how they were going to cope with it all. It turns out that the New Testament contains two noteworthy ties to the spice myrrh.
- The prophet Simeon speaks over Mary as she presents Jesus in the temple, telling her that a sword will be thrust through her own heart as well.
- After being given seven letters to seven churches, John writes a letter to one of the churches in which he describes suffering and persecution, even to the point of death.
- ‘Smyrna,’ as the city is known, derives from the root word for frankincense.
- Him to be our king, the one who would rule over his people, and indeed over all of creation, for all of time and eternity, was announced by gold.
- The last revelation is that our King and Priest, God forever, was in some way a human man who would also function as our prophet, a man who would die in the place of his people, as shown via myrrh.
- The study of the magi’s gifts is a research that will never be completed.
- Prior to writing The End of the Magi, I conducted a research project.
- He is here for you to see!
- Patrick W.
- In his spare time, he pretends to be a less-than-gentle math instructor in Tennessee, which enables him to keep his identity hidden.
- Fruffles, a small dog with a huge attitude, lives with him and his wonderful wife, Mary, at their home.
Shortly after Jesus’ birth, three “wise men from the east” came to see Him and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1). It is important to note that all of these gifts were extremely valuable and expensive, and they were appropriate gifts for the “king of the Jews,” as the wise men referred to Jesus (v.2). Many people, however, have demonstrated that these gifts can also serve as a symbolic gesture. gold was thought to represent Christ’s kingship because crowns were traditionally made of gold in ancient times.
3Moreover, because myrrh was used in the embalming of Jesus, it was believed to be a foreshadowing of Christ’s death.
While the Book of Mormon does not record these gifts that Christ received, it does make mention of Christ’s roles as king and priest, as well as His death and resurrection, which are all mentioned.
Christ as King
In the Book of Mormon, the concept of Christ as King comes on a number of occasions. Many people, however, are unaware of this since the Book of Mormon frequently use the term “king” in ways that modern readers equate with other things. The term Christ, for example, comes from the Greek phrase meaning “anointed one,” and it is frequently used to refer to monarchs who were anointed when they were crowned as rulers (see 2 Samuel 2:4). 5 ‘Messiah’ is the Greek term that corresponds to the Hebrew word of the same name, which has the same meanings.
Christ as Priest
In 2 Nephi 2:7, the Book of Mormon refers to Christ’s duty as a priest, which is one of the few instances when this is mentioned. As the scriptures say, “Behold, he offers himself as a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, to those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto no one else can the ends of the law be replied” (Isaiah 53:6). 8 The offering of a sacrifice is mentioned 49 times in the Old Testament, while it is mentioned 5 times in the Book of Mormon. 10 Offering a sacrifice refers to the practice of offering sacrifices in accordance with the Law of Moses in all cases.
Christ’s Death and Resurrection
In the Book of Mormon, the power of Christ’s death and resurrection is exemplified, and it demonstrates that Christ’s death is necessary for all humanity: “Behold, they will crucify him; and after he has been laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days, he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 25:13).
12 When it comes to “redeeming the people,” the Book of Mormon is unequivocal in its assertion that “the redemption of the people” is brought about “by the power, and afflictions, and death of Christ, and his resurrection and ascension into heaven” (Mosiah 18:2).
Knowing that Christ is the ruler of the universe can provide solace to our troubled lives in a world where chaos sometimes reigns supreme. 13Christ reigns supreme over all that exists, and he will ultimately prevail over evil, no matter how much evil we may be subjected to on a daily basis. 14Because Christ is king, we may have peace with one another. Knowing that Christ is, in the words of the author of Hebrews, “an high priest of good things to come,” (Hebrews 9:11), may also be of assistance to us as we navigate through life’s challenges.
16However, Christ has “entered once into the holy place, having gained eternal redemption for us” through the shedding of his own blood (Hebrews 9:12).
17 Finally, because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we may all triumph over death and agony in our lives.
18Especially during the Christmas season, we may all reflect on the power of Christ’s Atonement and resurrection, as well as the strength He possesses to assist us in our own lives and struggles.
19These gifts, provided by the three wise men, serve as a reminder to us all of the treasures that Christ has given to us. These gifts have the potential to provide us with hope, reconciliation with God, and release from death.
A Conference on Third Nephi is being planned by scholars, according to the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship’s Insights newsletter, which appears in issue 28, number 6, (2008), pages 3–4. Book of Mormon Symposium Series, Volume 9, edited by Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate, Jr. (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1995), pp. 133–146. Daniel K. Judd, “The Spirit of Christ: A Light Among the Darkness,” in Fourth Nephi Through Moroni, From Zion to Destruction, Book of Mormon Symposium Series, Volume 9, edited by Monte S.
- Tate, Jr.
- Matthews, “Two Ways in the World: The Warfare Between God and Satan,” in The Book of Mormon, Part 1: 1 Nephi to Alma 29, Studies in Scripture: Volume 7, ed.
- Jackson (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1987), 146–161.
- Matthews, “Two Ways in the World: The Warfare Between God and Satan,” in The Book of Mormon, Part 1: 1 Nephi
- “Strata: The Magi’s Gifts—Tribute or Treatment?” asks the first question. Biblical Archaeology Review38, no. 1 (2012): 24
- 2 “The Magi’s Gifts,” 24
- 3 “The Magi’s Gifts,” 24
- 4 “The Magi’s Gifts,” 24
- 4 “The Gifts of the Magi,” See, for example, Roland K. Harrison, “Myrrh,” in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 4 vols., ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1986), 3:450–451
- 5.Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Friedrich (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1971), 9:510
- 6.See Book of A brief synopsis of the talk may be found in ” Scholars Focus Conference on Third Nephi,” “Insights: Third Nephi,” and ” Scholars Focus Conference on Third Nephi.” The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship28, no. 6 (2008): 3–4
- The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship28, no. 6 (2008): 3–4
- The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001), 628–633
- Eldin Ricks’ Thorough Concordance of the LDS Standard Works (Provo, UT: FARMS, 1995), 546
- 11.For another priestly function Christ performed in the Book of Mormon, see Book of Mormon Central, “Why Did Jesus Allude to the Priestly Blessing in Numbers 6?(3 Nephi 19:25),”K Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, in The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 6 (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 1988), 162–163
- 16. Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, in The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Volume 6 (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2007), 2:39
- 17. Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 4 volumes (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1987–1992), 1:192–193
- See also 18: See, for example, Robert J. Matthews, “Jesus Christ,” in Book of Mormon Reference Companion, ed. Dennis Largey (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2003), 452–453
- And 19 Gary P. Gillum, “Christology,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., ed. Daniel H. Ludlow (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1992), 1:272–273
- Gary P. Gillum, “Christology,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., ed. Daniel H. Ludlow (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1992), 1:272–273
- Gary P. Gillum, “Christology,” in Encyclopedia of
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What the Gifts of the Magi Tell Us about Jesus
The journey of the Magi to adore Jesus is commemorated on the feast of the Epiphany. It symbolizes the arrival of Jesus to all people — Gentiles and Jews alike – in one body. The Magi, who had traveled from afar to adore the Christ Child, had seen a star and decided to come. It was they who gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh – each of which reveals something about Jesus’ true nature to us.
What the Bible Tells Us about the Magi
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?” According to the biblical account: We caught a glimpse of his growing star and have come to pay our respects to him.” Following their meeting with the king, they set out on their journey. When they got there, they noticed that the star that they had seen at its rise had preceded them all the way to the spot where the youngster was hiding.
They bowed their heads in reverence and paid him tribute.
And, after receiving a warning in a dream not to return to Herod, they decided to take a different route back to their homeland.
Gold – the Kingship of Jesus
The magi’s gifts were more than just a show of riches; they also had a deeper significance. Jesus’ reign is symbolized by the gold. As Daniel 7:13-14 states: “As the visions during the night progressed, I saw coming with the clouds of heaven,” I saw coming with the clouds of heaven. One who resembles a son of man. When he arrived before the Ancient of Days and was introduced to him, he was bestowed with dominion, glory, and kingship; all countries, peoples, and tongues will be devoted to his service.
Moreover, his rule is an immortal dominion that will never be destroyed, and his kingship is one that will never be destroyed. The Magi saw that Jesus’ reign extended beyond all earthly rulers, and they came to adore him as a result of their recognition.
Frankincense – the Deity of Jesus
The frankincense is a symbol of Jesus’ divinity. As a gift to God, frankincense was typically burnt in the temple throughout the time of the Old Testament (Leviticus 2:2). By presenting this gift, the Magi demonstrated that Jesus is more than just a normal man; he is totally human and fully divine. Because, as it says in Colossians 2:9-10, “in him dwells all the fullness of the deity bodily,” and you participate in this fullness in him, who is the head of every principality and power, you are part of the god.
Myrrh – the Death of Jesus
The present of myrrh, which is commonly used to embalm bodies, foreshadows the death of Jesus. We learn from John 19:38-40 that Nicodemus took myrh to the tomb of Jesus. Following this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was secretly a disciple of Jesus out of fear of the Jews, petitioned Pilate to allow him to take the body of Jesus from the tomb. And Pilate gave his approval. As a result, he arrived and seized his body. Nicodemus, the man who had initially approached him in the middle of the night, returned the next day with a combination of myrrh and aloes weighing around one hundred pounds.
The complete story of Jesus’ arrival is presented in this manner.
We have eternal life as a result of Jesus’ death on the cross.
The Magi’s Gifts: Pointing to the Ultimate Gift
The gifts of the Magi shed light on the various facets of Christ’s personae and mission. Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and in his great generosity, he died in order that we could live. As the Magi aggressively sought Jesus, so too should we follow Christ without hesitation, allowing him to serve as our guiding star as we go through life. When it comes to knowing where Jesus was born, like the scribes did, it is not enough if we do not go to the place where he was born.
When his location becomes our place, when his time becomes our time, when his person becomes our life, then the predictions come to fruition in us and we become the fulfillment of them.
For me, he takes on the nature of a living God.
They do not engage in dispute; instead, they proceed.
They do not place themselves as the focus of attention, but instead bow down before the One who is the center of attention.