JOY. When the sign leads to a discovery. JOY when your searching becomes finding. JOY. The Magi were filled with joy when the star led them to Jesus. In fact, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
WORSHIP. Their joy turned to worship. In humility they bowed before young Jesus. “They opened their treasures and presented him with gifts.” A picture of surrender, of not withholding from Him, even what is most precious to us.
GIFTS. What is significant about the gifts?
The Magi presented gifts to the one who would give the greatest gift: his life. They chose gifts that were typical and appropriate to honor a king at that time. They gave gold, a precious and costly metal, frankincense, a perfume or incense used in priestly ministry and myrrh, used as anointing oil. The significance of myrrh is fascinating. At Jesus’ burial, Nicodemus anointed his body with myrrh and aloes. Take a look at the details surrounding his burial, found in John 19:38-42:
“Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.”
Notice the details. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea used 75 pounds of a myrrh and aloes mixture to anoint Jesus’ body. They wrapped his body in strips of linen. Have you ever smelled the aroma of myrrh? I vividly remember the smell from a tiny piece of myrrh given to me inside a treasure chest from the Middle East. It is a deeply fragrant, earthy and mysterious aroma. The smell of death must have been overpowered by the strong fragrance of 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes.
Finally, the men laid Jesus in a new tomb, where no one had ever been laid. This is unusual and significant. Jesus was not laid in a family tomb that had been used for generations. No, his origin was “of eternity past.” He was laid in new tomb. No one else would die the sacrificial death he did on behalf of all people. No one else would rise in the same majestic victory as he would. God was doing a new thing! He established a new covenant through the shed blood of Jesus. God knew before the creation of the world that Jesus’ body would not remain in that tomb. Jesus borrowed a tomb for three days, but His destiny was as a resurrected King!
A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.
Yes, the King of the Jews did rise! Psalm 45 is a Messianic psalm that speaks of the One who reigns on an everlasting throne with a scepter of justice. See your risen King:
Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one;
clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.
4 In your majesty ride forth victoriously
in the cause of truth, humility and justice;
let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.
5 Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies;
let the nations fall beneath your feet.
6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.
8 All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
from palaces adorned with ivory
the music of the strings makes you glad.
The fragrant aroma of myrrh filled a Jewish man’s tomb for a short time. But now and forever the same fragrance is on the robes of the One in the palace of the Most High. The tomb was temporary. His destiny as reigning King is eternal. Revelation records the end of our story, when our Messiah reigns in his Heavenly Kingdom and establishes his earthly throne:
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”
“On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
“KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”
So, this is where our story ends. The Magi met their King. They met Jesus. His name is King of Kings and Lord of Lords! And He shall reign forever and ever!
Why Did the Magi Bring Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh? (2019, November 27). Retrieved April 10, 2020, from https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/
The Empty Tomb – see passages: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20
Note: The account of the Magi is found in Matthew 2.