The Gift of Myrrh

We’ve sung about it. At Christmas time, we see nativity scenes with wise men carrying it. But what is myrrh?

Myrrh is a spice. It is mentioned numerous times in both the Old and New Testaments. It was used in the making of perfumes and in the formula for the anointing oil in the Temple. In the book of Esther, myrrh was added to baths for the women.

But myrrh was also used for the dead. It was one of the spices that was brought when a loved one died. The body was covered in linen wrappings and myrrh.

So why did kings come from far away and bring a tiny child the gift of myrrh?

Each of the gifts not only helped to sustain Joseph, Mary, and Jesus when they fled to Egypt to get away from Herod, but also the gifts each represented something in Jesus’s life.

Myrrh represented His death.

Mark 15:22-23 tells us, “They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.”

While Jesus was hanging on the cross, the executioners offered Him wine mixed with myrrh. Then, at His death, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took the body of Jesus and brought over 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes to wrap His body.

Myrrh represented His death.

At His birth, wise men brought a spice that represented His death.

We can be grateful for the gift of myrrh.


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