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Gifts for a King
Christmas is such a wonderful time of year for so many people. Yet how often do we stop to think of the gifts we are to give rather than the ones given to us? For many people Christmas is considered through the eyes of getting. How would your Christmas celebration go if your family decided not to give each other gifts but sacrifice for others instead? Consider the message in the wondrous gifts given to Christ and some lessons from those gifts for us today.
In Matthew 2:11 we learn of the gifts from the Magi, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. For too many people our only familiarity is from the 1857 carol, "We Three Kings of Orient Are". These gifts, expensive as they were remind us that Christ desreves our very best. These Magi may have been Jewish descendants from the captivity or perhaps just greatly influenced by Daniel, a notable in the Babylonian and Medio-Persian courts.In either case God used them to prepare Joseph's family for their journey ahead. The value of these gifts would have greatly aided them in their journey to and stay in Egypt.
Beyond that we find the gifts themselves speaking to us of the Christ child, his life, purpose, and ministry.
The gold is a gift fit for a King. Remember that when they went to Herod they requersted to know where the King of the Jews was (Mt 2:2). Jesus is the fulfillment of the one who wil rule and reign upon David's throne forever (Luke 1:33). In the book of Revelation he is titled, "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (Rev. 19:16).
The frankincense, a costly sap used for fragrance, was often used for sacrifices. It's pleasant fragrance was something that reflects the Tabernacle fragrance. It may also be a picture of Christ's sweet smelling sacrifice on the cross for our sin (Eph 5:2).
Myrrh was used as an embalming fluid. Bodies were annointed with myrrh to cover the odor. Mummies were covered in Egypt. This foreshadows the death & burial of Christ.
In these gifts we find the kingship of Christ, his sacrifice for our sin, and his death and burial. Of course, we know his resurrection followed his burial proving that he is exactly who he said he is, the theanthropic man - God in the flesh, Immanuel.
What about our gifts to the Savior? Do we offer our best to the King? Are our gifts valuable or just whatever we have left? Are we interested in receiving or giving?