What’s the significance of the gifts?
In “The Magi Visit Jesus,” we talked about the Magi, who they were, why they came and what gifts they brought. Now we will talk about why the gifts they bought were significant.
The Magi brought more than gold, frankincense, and myrrh as gifts to give to Yeshua. The Magi brought a treasure full of gifts because it says in Matthew 2:11 that they opened up their treasures. All of the treasures were for Yeshua.
We also know that the Magi presented bags of gifts because history says so. Every king that was honored was brought bags of gifts by its sender. They brought the best their lands produced. One biblical example is when Queen Sheba visited Solomon. She gave him gold, spices, and precious stones and continued to give throughout the year. (1 Kings 10)
However, there were three gifts that were significant. These were the gifts the Magi presented to the young child, Yeshua. These gifts represented Yeshua’s role with man and his role with Yahweh Elohim. These three gifts were gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Now the Bible pointed out three particular gifts that were presented to the child Yeshua. The first was gold. Gold hasn’t changed throughout history. It has always been valuable. It was given to kings by their subjects. Temples were overlaid with gold. Objects were made out of gold. It was and still is considered the most valuable substance around.
Not only in earth is gold valuable, but in Heaven also. The Bible says that the city and the street are made of pure gold. It’s not mixed with anything.
So how befitting was it that the first gift given to the child Yeshua was gold. It represented his earthly and heavenly kingship, his royalty. It represented where he came from and where he is going – back to a pure gold city where he will reign forever as King of all Kings.
Frankincense, the second gift presented to Yeshua, was reserved for worship in the temple at the altar of God. It represented his role as High Priest of God Almighty to man.
Frankincense was one ingredient used to make a holy incense that was place before the Testimony in the tabernacle of meeting. This was where Yahweh met with Moses, the deliverer of his people.
Frankincense was also used on the grain offering, in which a handful was burned as a memorial to God. It was a sweet aroma to him. The rest went to the priesthood and it was “a most holy offering of the offerings to Yahweh made by fire.” (Leviticus 2: 3 KJV)
Two other offerings were most holy to God. They were the sin offering and the trespass offering. (Leviticus 6:17) These are significant because it tells us that Yeshua never sinned. He did nothing wrong that needed to be forgiven. Frankincense could not be put on a sin or trespass offering. (Leviticus 5:11)
Yeshua became our sin offering for all the unintentional, unknowing sins that we committed. The sin offering involved the people of God who unintentionally sinned against him and his commands. When they later realized their sin they gave a sin offering. Then the priest carried the animal that held the sins of the people outside the camp and burned it. This was done to sanctify the people because atonement had been made. This is why Yeshua suffered outside the gate. (Hebrews 13:11-12)
The trespass offering involved sins that were intentional or accidental. They knew they had done wrong. The interesting thing about the trespass offering is that restitution had to be made with an additional 20% added to the offering.
Restitution means “preparation made by giving an equivalent or compensation for loss, damage, or injury caused; the restoration of property or rights previously taken away, conveyed, or surrendered; and restoration to the former or original state or position.”1
Yeshua had to buy back the human race in order to restore our relationship with Yahweh Elohim, Creator of the heavens and earth. Because of his sacrifice we now have the opportunity to regain all that was lost in garden of Eden – paradise, being cared for, being able to speak with God on a one-on-one basis, peace, joy, and a host of other benefits. But most of all we have the opportunity to live with God in a perfect state forever.
On the earthly side, frankincense has been used throughout history for medicinal purposes. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It kills many forms of bacteria, is a great disinfectant, heals wounds and helps to renew cells and stimulate cell growth. It has also been used as an antidote vomiting, diarrhea, fever, tumors, leprosy and other ailments.
Just like Moses, Yeshua met with Yahweh and became the deliverer of Yahweh’s people. Later, he became our bread of life and healer. Finally, he became the perfect sacrifice for us, becoming our sin and trespass offering.
So however you look at it, frankincense was a revealing gift of who Yeshua was and would one day be.
Myrrh, the final gift presented to Yeshua, was used in the holy anointing oil to consecrate anything used to minister to God. It was also used to anoint and deodorize the dead. (John 19:39)
Myrrh is one of the ingredients used to make a holy anointing oil. It was used to anoint the tabernacle of meeting and the ark of the Testimony, along with everything else that was used at the altar.
Myrrh showed us Yeshua was the Messiah, the one set aside for God’s purpose – to become the ultimate sacrifice for man’s sins.
The use of myrrh is two-fold. The root word used for myrrh means “bitterness”. When Yeshua prayed in the garden he was in so much agony that his sweat became like great drops of blood. Also, he was nailed to a stake and hung there for a long time. He was beaten and spitted on. He endured a lot of heartache and pain.
However, I believe myrrh also spoke of his resurrection and his ability to conquer death. In most places in the Bible myrrh is used as a sweet smelling fragrance. While his death was bitter his sacrifice was a sweet smell that reached the throne room of God. This brought great joy to the God of all gods, who gave Yeshua the power over death.
On the earthly side, myrrh was used as an astringent, tonic, stimulant and expectorant. Like frankincense, myrrh was used to heal a variety of diseases and illnesses, while also being a stress reducer.
Yeshua was set aside as the ultimate sacrifice. He endured other people’s bitterness and literally took into himself the sins of everyone who ever lived or will ever live on earth. Finally, he became a sweet smelling fragrance in the nostrils of God Almighty, who placed him on his right side in high honor.
Now Yeshua is the “the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the earth’s kings. To him, the one who loves us, who has freed us from our sins at the cost of his blood, who has caused us to be a kingdom, that is, cohanim (priests) for God, his Father – to him be the glory and the rulership forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelations 1:5-6)
Our Heavenly Father, who is in heaven,
The beginning of all knowledge and wisdom comes from you. Therefore, we ask you to open our understanding to your scriptures. Help your word become alive in us. Help us to appreciate all that you have done for us.
In Yeshua the Messiah’s name, Amen.
“And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:1-12 NKJV)
“Then she gave the king four tons of gold, a huge amount of spices, and precious stones; never again did there arrive such an abundance of spices as those the queen of Sh’va (Sheba) gave to King Shlomo (Solomon).” (1 Kings 10:10 CJB)
“And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” (Revelation 21:18 KJV)
“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” (Revelation 21:21 KJV)