I’m sure those are not really the gifts you’re hoping for on Christmas morning. Although, gold wouldn’t be so bad, right? But what would you do with frankincense and myrrh? Maybe you’ve heard, “gifts for a king” as the explanation. But why? True, they are all expensive and that is what one would expect someone to give to a king – expensive gifts. Yet, there is more to that. Gold, of course, can, and does, represent his kingly stature. For indeed, he was to become the King of kings (Rv 17:14; 19:16). Frankincense was a spice used in incense and was used in the preparation of the incense used by the priests for worshipping God in the temple (Ex 30:34). Myrrh was a spice used for many things, but also commonly used on the dead for burial (Jn 19:39).
These gifts represented the three stations Christ would fulfill: prophet, priest, and king. Well, this is the order that we normally think, and it is the order in which Christ fulfilled these stations. Yet, this is the reverse order the Magi gave the gifts. Is that significant? I think so. Christ was a prophet at his first coming (Dt 18:15; Mt 13:57, 14:5, 21:11; Lk 1:76, 4:24; Jn 4:19, 6:14, 7:40), and like most prophets, he was killed. Myrrh was used to anoint his dead body for burial. Today, he is our high priest (Hb 4:14-15; 8:1 – 9:28). Therefore, frankincense was a very suitable gift. He is coming back as a king and will reign (Rv 17:14; 19:16). Gold was a very suitable gift to represent this.
Yet, as we stated, the gifts were given in the reverse order of how Christ fulfilled, and will fulfill, them. That is because the gift of king was given first. That is what the angel Gabriel proclaimed to Mary (Lk 1:31-33), that is what John the Baptist proclaimed and offered to the people (Mt 3:1-2), and that is what Christ first offered at the beginning of his ministry (Mt 4:17). Gold – his kingship – was offered first. It was rejected by many people and the leaders of Israel. Therefore, what was offered first became what will be given last. But, that did not alter God’s perfect plan because we still benefited as he offered himself as the sacrifice for our sins and now intercedes for us. Yet, this first offer is still offered to us. Yet, now we must first accept the myrrh and frankincense in order to have the gold. Are you willing? Will you accept the myrrh – his sacrifice for your sins? Will you accept the frankincense – have him be your high priest to intercede for you before God the Father? It is only then you can accept the gold – have him as your king and watch him become the King of kings. Christmas is touted to be about peace. That can only happen when you accept the gold, but you must first accept the myrrh. The order of the gifts was important, but the fulfillment of those gifts are even more important. Will you accept them?
When is Christmas?
No Room in the Inn?