For Part 1 & 2 of this post discussing the gifts of gold and frankincense, look under Shadows & Types of Christ and His Church on the Menu Bar.
We have already discussed how the gift of gold brought to Jesus in the manager by the Magi revealed Jesus as King and divine, and how it revealed the existence of the Bride of Christ (us!) talked about in the Book of Revelation. We have also discussed how the gift of frankincense revealed the sacrifice of Jesus’ death on the cross. Now let’s take a look at the gift of myrrh.
Myrrh was also taken from a tree by the same manner.
Myrrh is a red gum-like resin taken from a thorny tree that to be harvested must be wounded repeatedly until it bleeds its resin. Gosh. Can’t we just see in this, the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head, continually wounding Him and causing blood to flow from His brow.
Myrrh is a bitter spice often mixed with wine and we know that at Golgotha, on His way to being crucified, Jesus was offered a bitter wine mixed with gall (another name for myrrh). We see here, the Lord’s suffering and affliction, represented by the bitterness of the myrrh. This mix of bitterness with the wine, as Jesus is the New Wine of the Second Covenant, can also reveal the life of the church. The church is called to join in the fellowship of His suffering. There is a bittersweet relationship of myrrh mixed with wine.
Not only is myrrh bitter but it is also used as anointing oil and for embalming. It is associated to the Balm of Gilead mentioned in Genesis 37:25 and Jeremiah 8:22 and 46:11). Jesus is our balm for healing and anointing, as we read in these verses for the healing of God’s people, Israel, which we as the church, have now become.
So in the gift of myrrh, the wise men unwittingly symbolically announced not only the suffering of Christ by bearing the crown of thorns, the life of the church in the fellowship of His suffering but also Christ as healer, our Saviour, by His sacrifice we are saved! The myrrh was brought by the Magi to point all humanity to Christ as the healer of the nations!