Two thousand years ago, Magi from the East, led by a miraculous star, arrived in Bethlehem to celebrate the birth of a newborn king.
They presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. What did this group of men know about this child? Their gifts tell the story.
Gold speaks of Heaven. The Bible describes Heaven as a “city of pure gold, like clear glass.”
Its main street is also pure gold, as if it were transparent glass. The first gift of the wise men acknowledged that Jesus was a king from Heaven.
The second gift was frankincense. Frankincense is a sap harvested from the Boswellia tree. The bark is ‘slashed’ which is called striping. The resin, which bleeds out and hardens on the outer bark, is called tears.
A most expensive fragrance with healing properties, the wise men would surely have known the prophecy: “Jesus would be wounded for our transgressions; bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement that bought our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.”
Myrrh is both an essential oil and resin from the commiphora tree. It is harvested just like frankincense, but its classification as a perfume is outweighed by its medicinal properties.
It is an antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-oxidant, anti fungal, antiviral, anti spasmodic, an analgesic … so amazing are its properties that it was used to embalm the dead as a way of saying, “May you live again.”
There is no doubt the Magi knew this tiny babe would later rise from the dead himself and claim, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live.”
Together these gifts proclaim the marvelous truth. ”For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The wise men worshipped the baby Jesus, but it is our privilege to worship the risen Jesus who is coming again soon.
This Christmas, through the gifts of the wise men, may we all realize anew that Jesus really is the reason for the season.
Merry Christmas one and all.