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The Meaning of Myrrh

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
January 5, 2024 7:00 pm

The Meaning of Myrrh

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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January 5, 2024 7:00 pm

Today is Epiphany—the event described by the carol “We Three Kings of Orient Are.” It’s the time when Gentile wisemen visited the child Jesus. Yet they weren’t kings, they weren’t from the Far East (as Orient formerly meant), and it’s unlikely there were three of them.

There were, however, three gifts, and the carol considers each. When the magi arrived in Bethlehem, “They opened their treasures and presented [Jesus] with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11). The gifts symbolize Jesus’ mission. Gold represents His role as King. Frankincense, mixed with the incense burned in the sanctuary, speaks of His deity.

Myrrh, used to embalm dead bodies, gives us pause. The fourth verse of the carol says, “Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume / breathes a life of gathering gloom; / sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, / sealed in the stone-cold tomb.” We wouldn’t write such a scene into the story, but God did. Jesus’ death is central to our salvation. Herod even attempted to kill Jesus while He was yet a child (v. 13).

The carol’s last verse weaves the three themes together: “Glorious now behold him arise; / King and God and sacrifice.” This completes the story of Christmas, inspiring our response: “Alleluia, Alleluia, / sounds through the earth and skies.”

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Hey there, and welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. Our reading titled The Meaning of Myrrh was written by Tim Gustafson. Today is Epiphany, the day which commemorates the event described by the carol We Three Kings of Orient Are, when Gentile wise men visited the Child Jesus. Yet, they weren't kings.

They weren't from the Far East, as Orient formally meant, and it's unlikely there were three of them. There were, however, three gifts, and the carol considers each. Matthew 2.11 tells us that the Magi arrived in Bethlehem. They opened their treasures and presented Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The gift symbolizes Jesus' mission.

Gold represents his role as king. Frankincense, mixed with the incense burned in the sanctuary, speaks of his deity. Myrrh, used to embalm dead bodies, gives us pause. The fourth verse of the carol says, Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume, breathes a life of gathering gloom, sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in the stone-cold tomb. We wouldn't write such a scene into the story, but God did. Jesus' death is central to our salvation.

Herod even attempted to kill Jesus while he was yet a child. The carol's last verse weaves the three themes together. Glorious now behold him arise, king and God and sacrifice. This completes the story of Christmas, inspiring our response. Alleluia!

Alleluia! Sounds through the earth and skies. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Matthew chapter 2 verses 9 through 13. After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.

Get up, he said. Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, may Your Spirit help us live our lives in gratitude for Your Son giving His life for us. Thank You, Lord, for loving us unconditionally. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thanks for listening today. I'm Stephen Tabor, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-05 21:48:42 / 2024-01-05 21:50:19 / 2

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